The Miami Dolphins began phase one of their free agency plan by signing some of their own unrestricted free agents to new contracts. The team announced new deals for starting wide reciever Brian Hartline and back up quarterback Matt Moore prior to the NFL's three day negotiating period with other teams UFA's which opens at midnight on Saturday.
Late Thursday night the Dolphins signed Hartline to a five year, $30.8 million deal with $12.5 million guaranteed making him Miami's highest paid offensive player. Since the end of the regular season, Hartline made it evidently clear he wanted to return to Miami and the feeling was mutual with the front office. Coming off a breakout year, Hartline has established himself as a viable number two reciever and would have been a top commodity on the open market. The 26 year old Ohio native isn't the deep threat the team is looking to add this offseason however he is a reliable pass catcher that developed great chemistry with Ryan Tannehill in the quarterback's rookie season. Working with Tannehill, Hartline posted the best stats of his four year career as he recorded 1,083 yards with one touchdown on 74 receptions.
While some might argue that Hartline is overpaid, he in fact took less money to stay in South Beach. The goal of this offseason is to ensure that Tannehill is in the best position to succeed in 2013 and this signing is the first step in achieveing that.no comments