- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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In some ways, the Miami Dolphins are not exactly sure what they are getting with free-agent cornerback Brent Grimes. He is coming off a season-ending Achilles injury, and is still in the process of rehab and recovery.
However, if Grimes is 100 percent by the end of the summer and reverts back to the top- player he was a couple seasons ago, Miami could have one of the biggest steals in free agency.
The Dolphins agreed to a one-year contract with Grimes, the team announced Saturday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the contract is worth $5.5 million. This is pretty much a "show me" agreement for Miami. The Dolphins have the cap room to pay a solid salary, but they are only willing to do it for one year. If Grimes is still the same player post-injury, Miami could look to keep him long-term in 2014.
Grimes spoke about his injury and recovery time on a conference call Saturday.
“I am not going to do timeframes. I just know the surgeon (said) six to eight months or something like that, but I feel great,” Grimes said. “Like I said, I don’t have any restrictions right now. I am running and everything. It’s just building up your strength and everything. That’s part of the process, but I have plenty of time.”
If healthy, Grimes instantly becomes Miami's best cornerback. The Dolphins lost Sean Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency. Richard Marshall, a 2012 free-agent signing, was a bust. Miami also traded Vontae Davis last summer to the Indianapolis Colts.
Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland deserves a lot of credit for putting together a stellar free-agent class. In addition to Grimes, Miami also added tight end Dustin Keller, receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson, and linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler.
The offseason goal for Miami was to close the gap with the defending AFC East champion New England Patriots. Grimes is another step for the Dolphins in the right direction.