Without so much as a single Pro Bowl appearance -- not even in last season's diluted exhibition -- the Miami Dolphins made Karlos Dansby the highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL history in March, when they signed the Arizona Cardinals free agent.
DansbyHe has been showing his worth so far.
Dolphins coach Tony Sparano was asked Sunday who has popped out in the early days of training camp.
Sparano had one name in mind.
"I've been really impressed with what's happened with Dansby," Sparano said. "The combination of him and Channing [Crowder] right now, when you're watching them communicate and you're watching them go through what they're going through in the huddle together, has been really impressive to me."
The Dolphins identified inside linebacker as a major weakness for them at the end of the season. They released starter Akin Ayodele and top reserve Reggie Torbor. They fired defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni.
And they threw a pile of money at Dansby, the best inside linebacker in this year's free-agent class despite a lack of individual honors. His contract is for five years and $43 million.
Dansby's instincts have struck Sparano most of all.
"When Karlos sees it, he pulls the trigger right away," Sparano said. "And some people, they don't do that. They see it, and they don't quite pull the trigger, and now there's a missed tackle or it's an almost. ... With him, he sees it pretty fast and gets there in a hurry.
"I think it's rare when you find some of those kinds of players that have that ability."