Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post and Jeff Darlington from the Miami Herald managed to get Karlos Dansby on the phone while the brand-spanking-new Miami Dolphins linebacker took a break from house hunting in South Florida.
Dansby should be able to buy a pretty house in that soft market. He made $17 million guaranteed over the past two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins made him the NFL's highest-paid inside linebacker Friday with a five-year deal worth $43 million and $22 million in guarantees.
Dansby said he made the Dolphins his only free-agent visit because he wanted to play for Bill Parcells.
The money probably didn't hurt.
"I could be a part of something special," Dansby told Thompson. "How can you pass on being great?"
Dansby also expressed excitement about playing for new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. I wonder if the Dolphins' would have been able to deliver a sales pitch with the same zing if Paul Pasqualoni were still the coordinator.
"Mike Nolan has been around. Why not go and play for somebody like that?" Dansby said. "How can I pass on the opportunity to learn something and get better as a player and a person?"
Dansby told Darlington he will play inside with Channing Crowder, a player some have wondered about. Crowder was uninspiring last year and seemed to side with outside linebacker Joey Porter in a public feud with the team that forced Porter's ouster.
"I'm looking forward to playing with [Crowder]," Dansby told Darlington. "And we've got a lot of young outside guys with a lot of talent. I'm looking forward to playing with those young guys. They'll keep me motivated!''
Dansby comes in with a huge contract and, by extension, Parcells' blessing as the defensive centerpiece. But Dansby indicated nothing else is owed to him in Miami.
"It's a challenge," Dansby told Thompson. "But it's going to have to be something that's earned. You can't come in and say you're a captain. You can't come in and say I'm their leader.
"You have to earn those guys' respect. I’m up for that challenge."