Porter to get $20M guaranteed in deal with Dolphins

Updated: March 7, 2007, 5:08 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

The Dolphins didn't want to wait for Joey Porter to make a five- to six-team tour of prospective new teams.

Two-Way Threat
Joey Porter

Since sacks became an official NFL stat in the 1982 season, only two players have recorded 60 sacks and 10 interceptions: Joey Porter and Clay Matthews.

  Porter Matthews
Yrs in NFL '99-present '78-96
Sacks 60.0 69.5
INT 10 16

While Porter, the former Steelers outside linebacker, spent Monday trying to map out his trips to selected NFL cities, the Dolphins came in with an offer he couldn't refuse. Porter agreed to a five-year, $32 million contract that includes $20 million in guarantees.

Porter passed his team-administered physical, the team announced Wednesday.

"It's great that we were able to acquire a player of Joey's caliber," Miami's Jason Taylor, the league's defensive player of the year, told The Associated Press. "He has been an impact player in this league for many years, and when you add someone who has the ability to make plays like he does, it will help not just the defense, but the entire team."

The Steelers released him a week ago because they didn't have plans to sign him after his contract ran out in 2007. With several key starters entering the final year of their contract, the Steelers had to be selective and Porter became a salary cap casualty.

The minute he became a free agent, his phone was ringing. Porter had enough offers to visit most of the teams that run a 3-4 defense and few, including Cincinnati, that run a 4-3. He chose to play for coordinator Dom Capers' 3-4 unit in Miami.

"A player of Joey's ability doesn't become available often, especially at a position of need," Dolphins general manager Randy Mueller told AP. "We knew that together we all would have to react immediately to be able to sign him, and I was glad with the way we all worked so quickly internally in order to get this done."

Porter wanted to take the weekend to settle himself and find a new spot. On Monday, he started to put together a plan of trips. Then the Dolphins entered the picture and worked out a contract. Knowing he was one of the top defensive players available, Porter accepted a deal from the Dolphins before making other visits.

Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer