Dolphins and the 'show me' contract

The Miami Dolphins’ front office has been intrigued by the “show me” contracts lately. Instead of paying veterans a boatload of money in multi-year extension, Miami has opted to pay several key players a good one-year salary to see how they fit with the organization.

Last year, Miami signed three veterans to “show me” contracts: cornerback Brent Grimes, tight end Dustin Keller and right tackle Tyson Clabo. All three were longtime starters who had to prove they could fit in Miami’s system.

The three aforementioned players went in different directions in 2013. Keller suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason and never got a chance to show what he could do. Clabo was inconsistent and was benched at one point in the season. Grimes developed into a Pro Bowl corner and eventually signed a long-term extension with the Dolphins this offseason.

Will this year’s “show me” go the route of Grimes or Clabo and Keller? Let’s examine.

Player: S Louis Delmas

Contract: One year, $3.5 million

Analysis: Delmas brings intensity and physical play to the back end of Miami’s secondary. But there are also injury concerns. That led to the “show me” contract with the Dolphins. Delmas already said he’s out to prove he can stay healthy and be a top-end safety in the NFL. Miami already paid Reshad Jones a big extension last season. Therefore, Delmas will have to do a lot this year for Miami to put another significant contract into the safety position.

Player: RB Knowshon Moreno

Contract: One year, $3 million

Analysis: Is Moreno coming into his own or the product of Peyton Manning’s system? That is the question the Dolphins and fans will try to get the answer to this season. Moreno was a first-round bust until Manning arrived to the Denver Broncos. Moreno had a career year with 1,038 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns last season. The holes will not be as big for Moreno in Miami. But he should be a better option at tailback than 2013 Dolphins starter Lamar Miller. If Moreno can top last year’s numbers with the Dolphins, that could put him in line for a more secure contract.

Player: CB Cortland Finnegan

Contract: Two years, $11 million

Analysis: Finnegan has a two-year contract. But it could easily become a one-year contract where the Dolphins cut their losses if things don’t pan out in 2014. Finnegan has been a solid corner most of his career but has hit on hard times the past two seasons with injuries and inconsistent play. Finnegan is looking to regain his swagger in Miami. If he turns out to be the 2013 version of Grimes, Finnegan will stay for the full length of his contract. But the pressure is on to produce this year.