Cornerback Brent Grimes, whom the Browns targeted in free agency, joined the Miami Dolphins Saturday by signing a one-year deal worth $5.5 million, according to reports.
The Dolphins confirmed they struck a deal with Grimes, who spent the past six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.
Grimes visited the Browns on March 16, a day after the Dolphins hosted him. The Browns maintained interest in Grimes even after he left Cleveland without a contract.
But in the end, the Browns weren’t willing to offer as much as the Dolphins because Grimes is coming off a torn Achilles’ tendon, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported.
The Browns are still in dire need of a cornerback who can start opposite Joe Haden. They signed Chris Owens and Kevin Barnes earlier this month, though both of them have primarily served as backups throughout their careers.
The Browns missing out on Grimes will only fuel speculation that they’ll target University of Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the sixth overall pick in the draft, which runs April 25-27. The Browns are scheduled to host Milliner, the top-rated corner in this year’s class, during a visit the second week of April.
Grimes, 29, is still trying to rebound from the season-ending torn Achilles’ tendon he suffered in Week 1 last year.
“We enjoyed meeting him,” Browns CEO Joe Banner said March 18 at the NFL owners meeting. “He obviously has other teams interested in him and a place he’s played a long time. We’ll see how it goes. He’s not 100 percent [healthy], but we felt good about the time we spent with him and the physical evaluation as well.”
Grimes established himself as a full-time starter in 2010, when he earned a selection as a Pro Bowl alternate. Last year, he received the Falcons’ franchise tag along with a one-year, $10.2 million contract.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.