Ask an executive of the Miami Dolphins a week ago if Channing Crowder was in their plans and they would have likely said no. Ask any NFL expert yesterday where Channing Crowder would play in the 2009 season and they would have told you anywhere but Miami. Ask Channing Crowder last weekend and he would tell you that he gave the Dolphins the first shot and they “dropped the ball“. Apparently, that didn’t matter one bit as today the Phins resigned the middle linebacker.
No one, including the camp for Crowder expected a deal to get done with the Dolphins without CC testing the FA market first. What comes into question now is what exactly is getting done at the Combine? The Phins apparently reopened talks with the LB’s agent at the Combine but Crowder apparently wasn’t all that thrilled with his prospects either which leads one to believe that his agent had been inquiring.
I recently wrote an article on the Dolphins top 3 off-season needs and at number 2 was finding a LB to replace the expected departure of Crowder. While the Phins still may look for another MLB, it won’t be to replace CC. You can read that here at MVN’s off-season roadmap for the AFC East.
Crowder has spent his entire 4 year career in Miami and now at least the next 3 will be as well. Channing was 2nd on the team last season with 119 tackles but not all were game changing stops. In fact, many of Crowder’s tackles were beyond the line of scrimmage instead of at it or behind it. Still, Crowder plays 100 percent on every play and for the first time in his career played the middle for the duration of the season. Crowder has also been a serious presence at the Phins training complex all off-season working out and trying to bulk up.
Crowder had this to say in regards to his signing a new deal. ”My agent wanted to hit free agency but I love Miami and the people here.”
The deal has not been announced yet but it appears to be a 3 year deal worth between 4 and 5 million dollars a season. At the heart of the initial offer that was refused by Crowder was 3 million a season. Reggie Torbor signed last season as a free agent and primarily a special teams player makes 4. Crowder obviously upset with the offer refused it and walked away. Now, Crowder apparently has come down from his asking price and the Dolphins have gone up in theirs.
The free agent period begins at 12:01AM on Friday morning and the surprise signing of Crowder leaves the Phins with only center Al Johnson, CB’s Andre’ Goodman and Renaldo Hill, and FS Yeremiah Bell left to test the market. At last report, the agent for Bell has stated that the two sides are very close to inking an extension.
For now, the signing of Crowder means that the Dolphins were not likely thrilled with their prospects at LB in the free agent market and all but eliminates any possibility of Bart Scott signing with the team should he make it to the market.
The Dolphins will likely now focus on other needs and address the LB position in the draft. Welcome back CC!
In other NFL news, the NY Jets have released 28 year old WR Lavernuous Coles. Immediately speculation began that Coles could become that number 1 veteran WR that the Phins may be looking for and in the process reunite him with his good friend Chad Pennington. Last off-season Coles was vocally critical of the release of Pennington following the trade for Brett Favre.