According to the Miami Herald, the Miami Dolphins have approached Ronnie Brown's agent Todd France in an attempt to get the Pro Bowl running back and wildcat specialist signed to a contract extension which would keep him in the aqua and orange (some say teal and coral is the actual Dolphins' color scheme, but that just doesn't have the same ring to it) for several more years.
As mentioned previously, Brown's rookie contract expires at the conclusion of the 2009 season.
Getting Brown signed to an extension before the season makes sense on a couple of levels.
For one, he would likely come at a cheaper price now than he would after the season, as all signs point to him building upon the Pro Bowl season he had last year now that he is two seasons removed from ACL surgery and is more comfortable with the current offensive scheme.
If Brown mounted yet another Pro Bowl effort this season, he would automatically become the number one target by teams looking for help in their backfield via free agency. In such a scenario, The Dolphins would be unlikely to outbid other teams for the services of a running back, since history shows that the Parcells regime tends to skimp a bit when it comes to that position.
Secondly, it would allow Brown to play fast and loose right from the start. While often times it is said that players play their best and their hardest in a contract year in order to secure a big pay day in free agency, this might not be the best strategy for a player with a serious injury in their past.
If Brown were to get injured again in 2009 without a long term commitment from the team, it would be a major blow to his chances of securing a lucrative contract during free agency. Could these kind of thoughts hinder his effort in some circumstances?
It is possible, but Brown doesn't appear to be the kind of player who is thinking of finances first. He appears to be a true team player and gives his best effort on every play. When you see a man of his size hurdling over defenders and dragging multiple players across the turf for several yards, it is difficult to ever accuse him of not giving it his all.
While this might not have been a problem in any case, a long term commitment by the Dolphins toward Brown would allow him to simply focus on football without the spectre of free agency looming in the distance. And that is better for everyone.
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