No person believes more in the importance of building a strong offensive line than Bill Parcells. And no team has invested more money in its offensive line than the Miami Dolphins.
Miami did it again Tuesday, signing former Raiders center Jake Grove to a five-year, $29.5 million deal that includes $14 million in guaranteed money.
Now, in less than 12 months, the Dolphins have given a $57 million contract to offensive tackle Jake Long, a $42 million contract to Vernon Carey, a $25 million contract to Justin Smiley and a $29.5 million contract to Grove. Along with second-year guard Donald Thomas, whom Miami seems to be high on, this well could be the Dolphins’ starting offensive line this season.
Signing Grove gives Miami the center it believes it needs to combat the towering and imposing defensive tackles in the AFC East such as New England’s Vince Wilfork, New York’s Kris Jenkins and Buffalo’s Marcus Stroud.
It also gives Parcells and Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland the type of offensive line they helped construct in Dallas, where running backs had holes to run through and Tony Romo had time to throw.
In one year, Miami has built one of football’s top young lines. It was not particularly cheap, but it will be highly effective.