When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers needed cornerback help last year, they turned to an old foe: Brent Grimes, who signed with the Bucs on a fairly affordable deal—in spite of the fact that the Miami Dolphins wanted him back.
According to Danny Kelly of The Ringer, his two-year, $13.75 million contract now makes him the most underpaid player on the Bucs’ roster after a stellar 2016 season.
The 33-year-old former Dolphins and Falcons playmaker finished the 2016 season as Pro Football Focus’s fourth-ranked cornerback after giving up a 62.6 passer rating on targets in coverage, posting a league-high 24 passes defensed, and racking up an eighth-ranked 17 defeats. Grimes picked off four passes for the Bucs last year, including this one for a touchdown in Week 17.
Grimes was awesome last year, and a little suprisingly so. While he wasn’t bad in the years before, it seemed like he was certainly nearing the end of his career—which is why the Bucs didn’t need to pay top dollar to get Grimes on the team. Instead, he had arguably the best season of his career.
The question is whether Grimes can keep that up. The Bucs have a decent amount of depth at that position, but no one who can approach Grimes’ level of play, unless Vernon Hargreaves has the biggest second-year jump I’ve ever seen.
Still, if the Bucs only get that one awesome year out of Grimes he’ll already have been a good investment. Anything else they get out of him is a bonus. And if they get another good year out of him they’ll face another problem: will they re-sign him for 2018, too?