Grimes triggered an extra $1 million in contract incentives by playing in 94 percent of the defensive snaps in his first Bucs season, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 33-year-old corner turned in an above-average campaign overall, snagging four interceptions and notching 24 passes defensed overall. His durability -- which was evidenced by the fact he only missed 64 snaps all season -- allowed him to supplement his base salary in relatively robust fashion. He'll have an even better opportunity to earn bonuses in 2017, as the second year of his contract calls for the veteran ballhawk to earn a total of $1.5 million if he can log at least 80 percent of the snaps. Grimes is a near lock to reprise his starting cornerback job next season opposite promising second-year player Vernon Hargreaves, given both his solid play and the lack of experienced depth at the position.
Grimes totaled 57 tackles (51 solo), four interceptions (including one pick-six), a forced fumble and 24 passes defensed overall over 16 games during the 2016 season. The veteran enjoyed a statistically successful first season in a Bucs uniform, upping his tackle total over that of his final Dolphins season in 2015, while also equaling his interception tally from that campaign. Grimes largely served as a stabilizing presence alongside rookie first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves, although like the rest of a Bucs secondary that gave up the third-highest YPA (7.7) and that was tied with the Giants for the eighth-highest passing yards allowed per game (251), he endured his share of struggles. The 33-year-old carries a 2017 cap hit of $6.5 million in what will the final season of the two-year, $13.5 million contract he signed with the Bucs last offseason. Given his overall solid performance in 2016 -- and the fact that the Bucs presently don't appear to have any players that would represent an upgrade -- Grimes figures to be a good bet to stick around for at least one more campaign in Tampa.
Grimes totaled nine tackles (all solo) and a pass defensed in Saturday's 31-24 loss to the Saints. The veteran corner racked up a season high in tackles in the loss, while recording a pass defensed for the fifth straight game, and 11th time in the last 12 contests. With eight stops in the Week 17 finale, Grimes will establish his best tackle total since compiling a career-high 87 during the 2010 campaign in Atlanta.
Grimes was named a Pro Bowl alternate earlier this week, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. The veteran ballhawk has delivered in his first season in a Bucs uniform, leading the NFC in pass breakups, placing him just second in the NFL behind Pro Bowler Casey Hayward of the Chargers. He's brought a stabilizing veteran presence to a secondary that endured its share of troubles last season, while serving as an effective mentor for 2016 No. 1 pick Vernon Hargreaves.
Grimes collected six tackles (five solo) and was credited with two passes defensed in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Cowboys. The veteran corner knocked away a would-be touchdown from Dez Bryant for one of his deflections, and he generally did a good job against the Pro Bowl receiver throughout the night, as the latter's long catch was for a relatively modest 23 yards. Grimes' six tackles were also his second-highest total in that category this season. With six more stops over the final two games, he'll reach the 50-tackle mark for the third time in the last four seasons.