In the madness and hectic time of NFL free agency, we typically only see the end result of a free agent’s negotiation. We see the player signing the contract, holding up his new jersey and doing his introductory press conference. Rarely do we get an inside look at the player’s thoughts about deciding on a team, or what teams do on the all-important visits by free agents to team facilities.
But thanks to Peter King’s MMQB.com, we were able to get an inside look at one particular free agent’s decision process, new Dolphins safety Louis Delmas.
MMQB writer Robert Klemko profiled Delmas’s decision making process and talked about how the Dolphins made the man who was born and raised in Florida feel wanted.
In the article, Delmas discussed how Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey immediately made him comfortable about joining the Fins.
“He didn’t make it seem like it was a job, or even an important situation,” Delmas said of Hickey. “He made it seem like I was sitting in my own living room, and we played football for fun. Honestly, getting a longer deal is everybody’s goal. If I could sign a four-year I would sign a four-year. But I’m going to be playing this game for the next five years, so one year doesn’t determine the next five years.”
Delmas also spoke about how the Dolphins made him feel part of a family from the minute he stepped into the building, and that everyone in the facility already knew everything about him, and how much of a positive impact he could have on the franchise.
“I talked to everybody from the head coach, to the GM, to the lady at the front desk, to the defensive coordinator, to the strength coach,” said Delmas. “Basically, they didn’t really ask me questions—they just told me about myself. They told me how much of a high-powered player I am; how explosive I am; how much I love the game. And I do love the game—the power, the physical aspect of it. They think I can bring the guys around me together.”
The whole team in Delmas’s eyes was on the same page when it came to bringing him in, and showed genuine interest in him not just as a football player, but also as a person. And that’s what clinched the decision for the local kid from South Florida to return home.
“They seemed to support me the most and they cared the most,” he said, “and they didn’t let the medical determine my worth as a football player. They gave me a chance to prove myself once again.”
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