Photo by Brian Miller

What Is Ronnie Brown Waiting For?

Ronnie Brown is coming off a serious Lisfranc fracture and subsequent surgery.  He had a solid year prior to his season ending injury way back in November against the Tampa Bay Buc’s, a game I was at I might add.  (I took the picture at right).  So the question really shouldn’t be “How is his recovery coming” but instead, “why the hell hasn’t he signed his tender?”

What is Ronnie Brown waiting for?

The Dolphins decided to decline the option on his contract and instead opted to avoid the 5 million dollar base salary and hit him with a 1st round tender that will pay him 3.9 instead.  A savings of little over a million bucks.  The problem?  Ronnie Brown hasn’t signed his tender.

Rumors flew around the Internet and media channels that Brown was on the trade block leading up to the draft.  He still may be for all anyone knows.  The issue is he can’t be moved until he has signed his offer sheet.  So is he holding out?  Probably.

Let’s forget about his DUI a couple of months ago.  Brown has been an exemplary NFL athlete prior that isolated incident (not condoning here).  At the heart of the matter is his foot injury.  Reports are not clear on his recovery but it appears that he is at minimum, on schedule for his return.  Which is why he may be waiting for a final payday.

Brown would have been smart to accept the tender and possible trade out of Miami.  It was likely his best shot at getting a long term deal that would protect him should he get injured and out of the game.  He won’t likely get that in Miami.  Even if his last season here nets him a 1,000 yards plus and a Pro-Bowl birth again.  The Dolphins don’t invest large sums of money to injury prone players.  Ask Justin Smiley.

So what is Brown doing?  Either he simply loves playing in Miami and will accept his fate or he simply wants a choice into where he plays in his future.  The latter however, is out of his control.  The Dolphins could trade him the day after he signs that deal.

Brown will be an unrestricted free agent following the 2010 season and the Phins are not likely to put a franchise tag on the runner simply to get draft pick compensation.  Brown is winding down his career as he approaches the other side of 30.  He has an injury history as mentioned above and perhaps the biggest fault against him is he wasn’t drafted by anyone in this regime.

Brown is a fan favorite but most agree that he is becoming more of a hindrance than a reliable runner.  What good is he if he can’t finish a season strong?  Or at all.

Had Brown signed his deal, he could have negotiated a longer contract with what will likely be playing time incentives.  The next  contract he does sing will likely be his last big one before he ends up bouncing around the NFL for a million a year if his body holds up long enough for him to continue playing.  He has a playing span of less than 5 years as it stands now and that’s a gracious number.

Waiting for Miami to make a move on a longer deal will take awhile and while Brown has nothing to gain or lose by waiting to sign his tender, it still makes you wonder why he wouldn’t have taken a chance to get that better deal now, rather than wait for the Dolphins to come around.  It’s a complete mystery at this point.

Maybe the Dolphins and Brown know something we don’t.  Maybe they are working on a long term deal that will keep him in Miami that is performance based instead of guaranteed.  Maybe Brown doesn’t want to play anywhere else.  Who knows.

What we do know is this.  Ronnie Brown has yet to sign his tender offer and until he does, his future with Miami will remain in question…as will speculation of a trade or anything else.

I will say this though.  Ronnie Brown has at least earned the right to decide when he will sign that tender

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