Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Grove, Dolphins agree to 5-year deal
By Len Pasquarelli
Adding bulk and perhaps competition to their offensive line, the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday signed unrestricted free agent center Jake Grove, who had played all of his previous five seasons with the Oakland Raiders.
Grove will get a five-year contract worth $30 million, sources said.
The rugged Grove is expected to at least battle incumbent center Samson Satele for the starting job with the Dolphins, if not replace him in the lineup. Since being drafted in the second round in 2007, Satele has started 32 straight games, but Miami coaches are attempting to upgrade at the position.
Satele struggled in 2008 against the nose tackles in the AFC East.
A second-round choice in the 2004 draft, Grove has started at both center and guard for the Raiders. He has not been as dominating a blocker as he was in college, and the Raiders did not try hard to keep him.
Grove, 28, has played in 54 games and made 46 starts. But he has played only one full season in the NFL, that coming in 2006, when he started all 16 games. Several injuries have slowed the career of the former Virginia Tech standout.
The five-year veteran has had double-digit starts in only two seasons. He played in 12 games last season, all as a starter.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.