Cornerback Bobby McCain has improved every year since being drafted back in 2015 as a fifth-rounder, and after finishing 2017 as the Miami Dolphins' highest ranked corner (according to Pro Football Focus), he's being rewarded for his hard work with a four-year, $27 million dollar extension with $13 million guaranteed.
The money is available thanks to the post-June 1st designation release of Ndamukong Suh, which freed up an extra $17 million dollars.
This deal makes McCain the highest-paid slot cornerback in the NFL, and guarantees that he will be a part of a young secondary that includes Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersley, and recently signed safety Minkah Fitzpatrick for years to come.
The first indication that something was in the works occurred back on Tuesday, when he was asked about a potential contract extension. After several seconds of awkward "ums" and "I means" he was able to blurt out a forced answer stating he was going out to play his best ball.
And the suspicions were confirmed on Friday when it was announced he'd signed his new contract.
"There were talks," McCain admitted on Saturday at the Fins Weekend golf tournament. "We've been talking about it for a little while, but nothing was guaranteed ever, and I really didn't wanna jinx it at the time. So I was just gonna leave it alone."
Now that the pen has been put to paper though, McCain has made it clear that his approach to the game is not going to change despite the increase in salary.
"I'm just gonna go out and just be me," he said. "Be who I am and bring what I can to the table and try to help this team win. At the end of the day, whatever my role is gonna be, I'm gonna be the best at it."
It should be noted, at this point, that the projected role for McCain is not likely to change anytime soon. He has been - and likely will continue to be - the Dolphins' nickel cornerback. This does not mean, however, that McCain is limited to playing inside.
McCain played 402 snaps in coverage in 2017, and allowed only 44 receptions on 65 targets. Those catches went for a total of 431 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. In the rare moments he played on the boundary, opposing quarterbacks only completed 6 of 11 attempts for a total of 64 yards.
“Well we haven’t restricted him (McCain) to boundary or field." defensive back coach Tony Oden said on Wednesday. "All of these guys are going to have to play corner at some point. I look at all of these guys as corners, not necessarily pigeonholed as a nickel at all. I need him outside and I’m going to need him inside. If he’s in the game, it’s going to happen. If we don’t practice that, I can’t expect him to compete and excel at an elite level if we haven’t practiced it. So all of these guys will rotate through – right, left. There’s no boundary or field. Just go get it.”
That's what McCain has tried to do his whole career, and it finally paid off for him. And the 24-year old could not be happier.
"It feels great," he said. "It feels great to be rewarded for what you've done. And like I said, I'm not done. I'm not done working, I'm not done grinding, it's only going to get better from here, and I appreciate the Dolphins organization for believing in me."
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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