Mike Pouncey agreed to a contract extension late Friday that makes him the highest-paid center in football, multiple league sources have told the Miami Herald.
NFL Network reported that the deal is for five years and is in excess of $50 million.
Negotiations between the organization and Pouncey’s representatives began Thursday night and intensified throughout the day Friday.
Pouncey, a Pro Bowl selection the past two seasons, becomes the first Dolphins first-round pick to sign an extension with the team since Vernon Carey, who was drafted in 2004. He will anchor an offensive line that returns starting tackles Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James but will likely rely on untested guards Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas.
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Pouncey is coming off an injury-shortened 2014 season. He injured his hip during the spring and missed the first four games. When he returned, he agreed to play at guard to allow center Samson Satele to stay on the field. Pouncey will return to his more natural position this season.
Pouncey is a team leader, but his time in Miami has not been without controversy. Most notably, he was one of three players who league investigator Ted Wells determined engaged in a “pattern of harassment” toward then-teammate Jonathan Martin during the 2013 season.
Though the Dolphins have since parted ways with Richie Incognito and John Jerry, who were also named as aggressors by Wells, the team has both privately and publicly supported Pouncey.
Had Pouncey not agreed to a new deal, he would have played under the fifth-year team option, which would have paid him $7.4 million this season.
The new contract will presumably bring that salary-cap figure down in 2014, providing the Dolphins more space. As of Friday morning, the team had $11.8 million in available cap space.
In the coming weeks, the Dolphins will also most assuredly pick up the fifth-year option on starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill — assuming that they cannot iron out a long-term deal with him. Tannehill would earn $16.2 million in 2016 under that mini-extension.
Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero contributed to this report.