Less than six months after signing one of those one-year prove-yourself kind of contracts, it appears safety T.J. McDonald has indeed proved himself worthy of a longer look with the Miami Dolphins.
That’s the word from the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, who wrote this morning that the Dolphins have begun negotiating a contract extension with the former Rams regular.
The news comes just as McDonald is about to begin serving the eight-game suspension he earned a year ago for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse.
It was that looming eight-game suspension that kept a lot of teams from taking a chance on McDonald, but the Dolphins still see a lot of potential in the former USC Trojan standout.
Salguero writes that the Dolphins want to get a deal done sooner rather than later, perhaps before the weekend is out, but that seems a bit risky given McDonald’s past and the coming layoff.
It might be in the Dolphins best interest to have McDonald prove he can stay clean while he’s away and on his own for the next two months before they throw another load of cash at him.
And it’s likely that they will throw quite a load of cash at McDonald. He won’t get the $13 million per year that Eric Berry got from the Chiefs, but he could a deal that pays at least half of that.
Even that may seem a little lean for a player who started all 53 of the games he’s played since coming to the NFL as a third-round pick in 2013, but it’s far better than the $1.34 million he got from the Dolphins back in March.
That’s about $300,000 less than McDonald earned a year ago, when he started 16 games, broke up six passes and intercepted two while recording 62 tackles and a sack.