Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes cashed in Monday on his career comeback with the Miami Dolphins.
Grimes signed a $32 million US, four-year contract to remain with Miami. The deal, which includes $16 million guaranteed, rewards Grimes for his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to miss almost all of the 2012 season.
With the agreement, the Dolphins achieved one of their biggest off-season priorities by avoiding the loss of their best defensive back in free agency.
"I've been in this league awhile and actually feel appreciated here," Grimes said. "This is where I wanted to be, and I'm glad it all worked out."
Grimes, 30, spent six years with the Atlanta Falcons, who parted ways with him after his serious injury. The Dolphins gave him a one-year contract in 2013, and he had perhaps his best season, making four interceptions while playing in all 16 games.
"Last year it was like, OK, I get to prove myself again,"' he said. "I never doubted myself, but being realistic, coming off of a serious injury that a lot of people had trouble coming back from, I had to prove myself."
Grimes, a 5-foot-10 overachiever who was undrafted out of Shippensburg State, also made the Pro Bowl in 2010. He has 59 career starts and 17 interceptions.
The contract was the first major deal for new Miami general manager Dennis Hickey, who replaced Jeff Ireland.
"My exposure to Brent over the last few years has always been when I'm on the opposite sideline watching him intercept balls and hurt my team," Hickey said. "I'm excited to have him on my team now."
With free agency beginning March 11, the Dolphins' priority now becomes trying to re-sign nose tackle Randy Starks or Paul Soliai. Both can become unrestricted free agents.