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.
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 tied 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.
The veteran ballhawk closed out his first Bucs season in spectacular fashion, jumping an early second-quarter Cam Newton pass and returning it 31 yards to the house to give Tampa a 10-7 lead at the time. Grimes picked off two passes over the last four games, and he has now notched at least four interceptions in each of the last four seasons.
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.
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||57||51.0||6||0||4||37||9.2||31||1||24|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|