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Brent Grimes Returning on One-Year Deal

Posted Mar 16, 2018

While they may be looking for more help on defense in the weeks ahead, the Bucs made an important move during free agency by re-signing their top-performing cornerback, Brent Grimes

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers let Brent Grimes know, just one day after the end of the 2017 season, that they would like to have him back in 2018. A few days into the 2018 league year, Grimes officially had an answer.

On Friday, Grimes and the Buccaneers agreed to a new one-year contract that will keep the highly-productive cornerback in Tampa for a third straight season. He previously signed a two-year deal with Tampa Bay in March of 2016 and went on to be the team's top cornerback over the past two seasons. Grimes' return provides some continuity and a known commodity to a defense that will likely have changes in other areas.

Grimes, who played the three seasons prior to joining the Buccaneers (2013-15) in Miami, has been one of the league's most consistently productive cornerbacks for the bulk of his 11-year career, and the last five seasons in particular. In fact, he is the only player in the NFL who has recorded at least three interceptions in each of the last five seasons. Grimes also had five and six-pick campaigns for Atlanta in 2009 and 2010 and is one of only three players with at least seven three-interception seasons in the last decade.

Despite playing the 2017 season in his age-34 season, Grimes was as impactful as ever in his first two seasons in Tampa. He broke up a team-high 35 passes over the past two campaigns; only three NFL players (Casey Hayward, Robert Alford and Darius Slay) had more in that span. Grimes led the league in passes defensed in 2016, his first season as a Buccaneer, with 24

Grimes entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Shippensburg in 2006, signing with the Falcons, and saw his first real professional action in the now-defunct, NFL Europa. He didn't see meaningful action for Atlanta until 2008, but he turned in a six-interception season in 2009 and was in the Pro Bowl by 2010. Grimes has four Pro Bowl appearances on his resume, and his 33 career interceptions are fifth among all active players.

Grimes has played in 133 career games, starting 119. Along with his 33 picks, three of which he returned for touchdowns, he has recorded 134 passes defensed, 527 tackles, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Despite missing three games due to injury in 2017 – he had missed only one contest in the previous four seasons – Grimes tied for the team lead with three interceptions and led the club with 11 passes defensed. Head Coach Dirk Koetter said in his press conference following the season finale that he had personally informed Grimes that the team was interested in his return in 2018, a fact Grimes confirmed later that day, saying he needed some time to contemplate his plans. His return is another piece of good news for a team that recently reached agreement on contract extensions for key offensive players Mike Evans and Cam Brate. While the Buccaneers are likely to devote further resources to a secondary that finished last in the NFL in net yards allowed per game – as well as to an unproductive pass rush that contributed to that issue – keeping the team's top-performing cornerback in the fold was a very good start to free agency.