Certainly, of the 2008 starters set to become free agents, Crowder seemed least likely to re-sign.
And yet, after Vernon Carey, Crowder becomes the second player of the group to re-sign with the team. Today he signed a new three year contract. Terms of the deal are unknown.
I'll reserve judgment on the move until I see the money that was given to Channing, but I like the fact that it's a three year deal. That's shorter than normal, which provides some protection to Miami in case his knees cause him problems over the next few years.
A lot of people have been down on Crowder ever since it seemed like he wasn't going to return to the team, and I've certainly criticized him for his lack of big plays. But as far as our ILBs go, Crowder wasn't really the problem. I'd much rather see Akin Ayodele be the ILB replaced in the starting lineup, and now that may happen.
Amazingly, Crowder is still only 25 years old since he came out of college so young, and he has a leg up on this system over anyone else who would have been brought in to replace him. I'd much prefer Crowder to a guy like Bart Scott, who truthfully isn't that much better than Crowder, especially when you consider the money that he is going to demand and that he is three years older than Channing.
According to Crowder, the coaching staff put in place last offseason had a huge impact on his decision to stay:
"Not to bad mouth any other coaches, but if another coach had been here, I don't know whether I would have stayed,'' Crowder said. "I've talked to George Edwards everyday for the past two weeks about this."
Stay tuned for details on the contract.