NFL News: Miami Dolphins deals for receiver Brian Hartline and quarterback Matt Moore
The Miami Dolphins have handed new contracts to wide receiver Brian Hartline and back-up quarterback Matt Moore.
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 08/03/13 6:36pm
Hartline has signed a new five-year deal with the Dolphins worth a reported $31 million after a breakout season that saw him manage 74 receptions for 1,083 yards.
The 26-year-old was set to be heading for free agency before the deal was brokered between the two sides, with Hartline being rewarded for his well-timed best season of his career.
A fourth round draft pick from Ohio State, Hartline set a team record with his 253-yard performance against Arizona last September, as he became rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill's top target.
"It feels great," Hartline said. "It feels great to know hard work and perseverance is worth something. But now, it's about winning games. I think we're on the right path. I think we're close."
Miami are still in search of a star receiver to lead the line out wide though, with Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace and Green Bay's Greg Jennings the favourites, but keeping Hartline along with Davone Bess gives them the chance to compile a solid set of options.
"I'm excited to see what happens in free agency," Hartline added. "We want to win. We're set up so we have cap room to make some moves, and that's one way we can win football games. It's important. And the draft will be important, too. It's exciting."
Tannehill performed admirably in his first year last season, helped by back-up Matt Moore who will remain in South Florida after agreeing a fresh two-year deal worth $8 million.
The six-year veteran would have been one of the top back-ups in free agency, but with no promise of big money or a starting spot available, he has decided to remain with his current team.
Moore played in two games last season as cover for Tannehill, and continued his solid level of performance with 131 yards and a touchdown when completing a win over the New York Jets.
Tannehill bagged the team MVP award during his 12-game season starting instead of the injured Chad Henne, with his 2,497 yards and 16 TDs helping the team to a 6-6 record during that spell.
The Dolphins have also put the franchise tag on defensive tackle Randy Starks as general manager Jeff Ireland looks to keep the majority of his roster together for a big push last season.