It was good to be Brian Hartline on Friday.
The Dolphins’ receiverwas sporting a healthy tan and sunburned nose after vacationing in Antigua last week with his girlfriend. And he played 18 holes Friday in Fort Lauderdale, although he was interrupted by Dolphins PR chief Harvey Greene before he could make his final putt.
“Ruined my round,” Hartline joked.
But Greene had a good reason: The team wanted Hartline to speak with the media after signing him to a five-year contract late Thursday. A source said the deal will pay $30.775 million, with $12.5 million guaranteed. The contract prevents Hartline from hitting the market when free agency begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Hartline wasn’t the only player who re-signed. Early Friday, Matt Moore signed a two-year deal, giving Miami an experienced reserve behind second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Moore’s deal will pay a total of $8 million, according to NFL.com.
“Matt has been a valuable contributor to the Dolphins ever since he arrived two seasons ago,” General Manager Jeff Ireland said. “We are happy we were able to re-sign him, and we think he combines with Ryan Tannehill and Pat Devlin to give us an outstanding group of quarterbacks.”
The Dolphins entered the offseason with 12 unrestricted free agents and locked up three — defensive tackle Randy Starks was given the franchise tag earlier this week — before midnight Friday, when agents could start negotiating with other teams.
But five starters have been allowed to test the market – left tackle Jake Long, running back Reggie Bush, cornerback Sean Smith, tight end Anthony Fasano and safety Chris Clemons.
While exact salary cap numbers are not yet known, the Dolphins should have about $30 million available to re-sign players or even land a high-profile free agent such as receiver Mike Wallace, who could command a $60 million, five-year deal.
Dolphins radio analyst Joe Rose said the team needs to do more than bring back Hartline to bolster its receiving corps.
“He’s not being brought back to be the No. 1 guy,” Rose said. “Brian Hartline is not the final piece of the passing game. They need a lot more. But Brian Hartline coming back to this team is good.”
Hartline, 26, got a big raise (he made $1.4 million in 2012) despite scoring just one touchdown last year, and six in four seasons.
But he caught a career-high 74 passes for 1,083 yards last season, and the Dolphins’ plan to improve their receiving corps would have been hurt if they had let Hartline depart.
A columnist for NFL.com wrote that Hartline is being overpaid, but he wasn’t given elite money for a receiver. His $6.155 million average ranks 22nd among wide receivers. It falls right behind two free agent contracts awarded last season: Jacksonville’s Laurent Robinson and San Diego’s Robert Meachem each signed for about $6.5 million annually.
Hartline said staying motivated now that he has a big contract won’t be an issue.
“Now I feel more pressure because I feel like I have to justify it,” he said. “I was probably more concerned about being overpaid than I was about being underpaid.”
Moore’s contract is the second largest among current No. 2 quarterbacks — Tennessee’s Matt Hasselbeck earns $6.5 million per season. Moore, 28, got a sizable raise over his previous two-year, $5 million deal even though he threw only 19 passes last season.
Moore was expected to test free agency to find a team that could give him a better chance to play. But he said that after assessing his options, staying with the Dolphins and keeping his family in South Florida made the most sense.
He came off the bench in 2011 to compile a 6-6 record. In his only appearance last season, he replaced an injured Tannehill to help lead the Dolphins to a 30-9 win over the New York Jets.
“I know my role on this team – we all do – and I’m proud to be here, proud to know my role,” Moore said. “I think this team is definitely going places. There are big things to come, and I didn’t want to miss out.”