Dolphins best bargains: Mike Pouncey

With the 2014 offseason officially in the books, it’s time to look ahead to training camp and games being played in the exhibition and regular season.

This week ESPN.com’s Dolphins blog is taking a look at Miami’s best bargains. Next up we have the Dolphins’ center.

Bargain player: C Mike Pouncey

2013 stats: 14 starts

2014 salary: $1.638 million

Analysis: Pouncey has been playing at a Pro Bowl level for two seasons. He is clearly one of the top two or three players on Miami’s roster. But perhaps the only reason Pouncey doesn’t have a large contract extension at this stage is due to his off-the-field transgressions over the past year. Most notably, Pouncey was involved in Miami’s high-profile bullying scandal last year. Pouncey also had hip surgery and is expected to miss the next three to four months. It would be difficult for the Dolphins to turn around and commit to Pouncey long-term immediately. The Dolphins instead picked up his fifth-year option to allow Pouncey two more seasons to prove himself. Pouncey’s twin brother, Maurkice, recently got a $44 million extension from the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Mike Pouncey stays out of the headlines for the wrong reasons and continues playing at a high level, there’s no reason to believe he won’t get a similar extension in Miami.