Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dolphins opt for fifth year on Pouncey's contract


After the recent problems that have surrounded the Miami Dolphins' offensive line, star center Mike Pouncey's long-term future with the team seemed uncertain.

The Dolphins secured some of that future on Tuesday, announcing that they've picked up the fifth-year contract option included in Pouncey's rookie deal, locking him up through 2015.

The option will pay the 15th overall pick of the 2011 draft more than $7 million in the final year of the contract.

The 2014 Pro Bowler's spot on the team appeared to be in jeopardy earlier this year after it was revealed that he had a leading role in the harassment that drove former teammate Jonathan Martin to abandon the team in October. The related events led to accusations by Martin of abuse and negligence on behalf of numerous other Dolphins players and coaches.

The league has not yet ruled out a suspension for Pouncey's involvement in the scandal, though it appears unlikely provided he goes through a league-mandated mental evaluation.

Additionally, Pouncey was subpoenaed during last season in connection with former University of Florida teammate Aaron Hernandez's murder case, a red flag that would have warranted further apprehension on Miami's part towards extending his deal.

Regardless, the Dolphins felt comfortable enough with Pouncey's personality and history to add the optional season to his rookie deal. His on-field performance has never been an issue.

The team still has an out if either his play or off-field conduct take a turn for the worse; the team can cut Pouncey without penalty before the first day of the 2015 regular season, the day the salary becomes guaranteed.

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