Two days after he posted a career day with 107 yards and a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans, it was reported that Miami Dolphins starting tight end Anthony Fasano had been signed to a two-year contract extension through 2012.
Terms of the deal include a signing bonus of $2.1 million, along with base salaries of $1.9 million in 2011 and $3.6 million in 2012. Workout bonuses of $75,000 are also present each of those years.
The deal comes after an offseason in which Fasano was limited to restricted free agency due to the lack of an extension on the Collective Bargaining Agreement. He publicly voiced his displeasure with the situation, but eventually signed his one-year tender in June.
Fasano again would have been a restricted free agent in the 2011 offseason if he'd not signed this new deal and no CBA extension has been reached.
The Dolphins' starting tight end each of the past three seasons since being acquired from the Cowboys, Fasano has been forced to take on more of a blocking role with the absence of a reliable No. 2 player at the position.
While Fasano's most impressive season was his first with the Dolphins, Fasano is actually on pace for career-high number in receptions and yards—though nearly a third of his totals to-date came in his big game against Tennessee.
I'm of the opinion that Fasano is a solid but unspectacular tight end due to inconsistent receiving production, but a quality blocker and an ideal No. 2 man or fill-in kind of guy.
That being said, the Dolphins did a good job locking him up for two more seasons. The deal doesn't break the bank, would be hard to get out of early if the team wanted, and still allows the Dolphins to look for a long-term developmental tight end through the draft.
While not an essential part of a productive offense, a dominant receiving threat at tight end is certainly a luxury the Dolphins would like to have, and it's a label against which Fasano falls a bit short.
Antonio Gates don't grow on trees though, and Fasano is the ideal candidate to man the starting tight end spot for the next year or two until the Dolphins can find the right player in the draft.
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