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After a brief quiet period following his active first few days in free agency, Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland has ramped things up again free agent signings in three of the last four days with this morning’s addition former Atlanta Falcons cornerback
Former San Diego Chargers defensive lineman
“We are happy that we have reached an agreement with Brent,” Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland said. “He will be a great addition to the secondary both on the field and in the meeting room.”
The 29-year-old Grimes suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Atlanta’s season-opening victory over the Chiefs last September and landed on Injured Reserve. He had received the franchise tag and moved to right cornerback to be paired with Asante Samuel and looked to be taking that step into the elite level among the league’s corners despite his size (5-foot-10, 181 pounds).
“I am doing great. I’m doing everything. It’s just about getting all of your strength back to where you were before,” said Grimes, who is staying away from giving any timeframe for his return. “I don’t have any restrictions right now. My workouts, if you look on the Internet, my wife is always putting up videos of me doing stuff. I am doing great. I am really encouraged by this rehab. I look it as a challenge and I respond well to challenges and I am 100 percent confident that I will be straight in no time.”
Back in 2006, the Falcons signed Grimes as an undrafted free agent and he took a very unconventional route to the 53-man roster. He was allocated to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe and then re-signed in May of 2007 and signed back to the practice squad. The Falcons promoted to the active roster twice and then he became a regular in 2008, starting six of 12 games.
By 2010, Grimes had established himself as a key member of the Falcons defense was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate after intercepting fie passes and racking up 87 tackles (76 solo). He had six interceptions in 2009, has 13 in his career and started all 12 games in 2011 as well, so he brings a needed skill to the secondary.
“I feel that I am a great playmaker. I make plays on the ball,” Grimes said. “I play the ball in the air very well. I can bring that to the team. That’s why they wanted me here, because of my ability to make plays.”
The Dolphins established a dialogue with Grimes and his agent early during the free agency period let them know how serious their interest was in signing him. This was a new experience for Grimes in terms of being able to choose where he wanted to play and he put a lot of thought into his decision.
“I’ve never been a free agent so I was dealing with my agent. He was working and getting the stuff together,” he said. “I was just going on visits. I picked Miami because I think they are building something great here and I would love to be a part of it. They really showed a lot of interest in having me here. That played a major role in me deciding to come to Miami.”
When Grimes actually came to the Doctor’s Hospital Training Facility for his official in-person visit, Head Coach Joe Philbin and General Manager Jeff Ireland were in Arizona for the league meetings. He had spoken with Philbin over the phone and was impressed.
One person Grimes did get to meet with was defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and he walked away from that meeting confident of what he’ll be able to do on that side of the ball.
“They have some great players on defense. That was definitely one of the strong factors,” said Grimes, who will help fill the coid created by the departure of Sean Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs. “I like (Coyle’s) scheme and how they are aggressive and the defensive line. They are a great defensive line that can get after the quarterback and create problems for quarterbacks and disguise looks. I believe that is any secondary players’ dream is to have a pass rush that makes it a problem for the quarterback. He just can’t sit back there an be comfortable.”
Once Grimes gets on the field with the rest of his new teammates, he looks forward to finding his own comfort level.