FA Tenders Leave Me Applauding

The Miami Dolphins are one day away from the start of free agency and today they took a step in securing three of their own by offering tenders to Ronnie Brown, Quentin Moses, and TE Anthony Fasano.  While the tenders are on the risky side, I find myself applauding the moves.

Here is a breakdown of each tender to each player and why my hands are clapping.

Ronnie Brown: Of the three, it’s Brown’s name that has the most fear associated to it.  Last year, Brown made roughly 3.6 million and this year was slated to make roughly 5 million.  Under contract for the 2010 season and very well protected, the Dolphins felt it was in their best interest to decline the 2010 option on Brown and make him a free agent.  Albeit a restricted one.

The move will reduce Brown’s 2010 salary to around 3.9.  However, in order to reduce the number they had to tender their Pro-Bowl runner.  They did.  With a simple low end, first round tender.  Basically, if another team wants to sign him they will give Miami a first round pick.

On the surface a scoff of “how could they” when for another half a mill or so they could have received a 1st and 3rd pick.  So why not offer it at the higher level?  Simple.  Ronnie Brown isn’t worth a 1 and a 3 in the real world.

The Dolphins will have the right to match any and all offers that Brown receives on the open market so if a team offers him a long term deal that he accepts, the Dolphins can simply move in and pay him the same.

This allows the Dolphins to do two things.  See what the market for Ronnie Brown is and decide if his injury history is worth investing in for the price tag that the RB will get on that said market.  If they don’t think the contract is worth the risk, they get a first round pick.

Believe me, a first round pick for a running back who has been injured often is a very good deal and the Dolphins could do a lot with another selection on day 1.

This was a brilliant move by the front office.  BRILLIANT.  It simply allows the Dolphins to get a worthwhile compensation pick if they lose him and the freedom to decide what contract is best for them without having to drag out negotiations under the fear of another injury.

Anthony Fasano: As many know, I’m a Fasano fan.  But I’m also a fan of Joey Haynos who expect to improve next season.  So Fasano was tendered today at the low level compensation of his original draft spot.  A second round pick.  Fasano will be paid roughly 1.17 million under his tender.

Fasano publicly stated that he wanted to be a free agent to test the market and hoped that a new CBA would be in place so that he could in fact hit the open period to fill his bank account.  Next year, he will be that free agent.

The Dolphins did themselves proud…again.  By tendering at this level, the Phins would receive a 2nd round pick  for their TE.  A very good deal considering two years ago they bought him for a 4th round pick along with LB Akin Ayodele.  The Phins get Fasano for another year to see what he will do and then can open up long term contract talks of Fasano improves on a very lackluster 2009 campaign.

Quentin Moses: The DE was also tendered at a low end original draft slot spot.  Any team matching his 1.3 million dollar tender will forfeit a 3rd round selection to the Dolphins.  Not bad for a guy that has shown flashes but has yet to make an impact.

For his trouble, Moses will receive around 1.1 million dollars.

So why is this such great news?  Well, no matter what side of the fence you sit on, the Dolphins  have either locked up all 3 for the season or put themselves in a better position to lose them for real compensation.

In reality, no team is going to give up a 2nd round pick for Anthony Fasano.  After his first stellar season with the Dolphins, Fasano was injured and didn’t play up to par when he was in the game.  Is he worth a 2nd round pick?  No.  And other teams know that as well.  So the Dolphins saved some money.

Moses is far from a 3rd round pick value and no team would likely give up a 4th for him so a quick and easy tender secures his rights to Miami and if he doesn’t win a spot in training camp, the Dolphins can cut him and save the 1.1 million.

For Brown it’s simple, if the Dolphins lose him…oh well.  If they keep him, great.  He is the heart of the offense but the Phins managed to save almost 2.5 million on this years salary and despite opening up the possibility of him leaving, they have set a specific number to his value for compensation.

Smart moves today out of Miami.

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Tags: Anthony Fasano Miami Dolphins NFL Free Agency NFL Tenders Quentin Moses Ronnie Brown

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