Although the Miami Dolphins are expected to pursue a wide receiver in free agency, that did not stop them from paying one of their own receivers.
The Dolphins and Brian Hartline agreed on a five-year contract worth $30.8 million Thursday. The deal includes $12.5 million in guaranteed money, according to several reports.
The deal had been close since Tuesday.
Hartline, a fourth-round pick in 2009, is coming off his best season: 74 catches for 1,083 yards and one touchdown.
"It feels great to know hard work and perseverance is worth something," Hartline, 26, told NFL.com. "But now it's about winning games. I think we're on the right path. I think we're close.
"I'm excited to see what happens in free agency. We want to win. We're set up so we have cap room to make some moves, and that's one way we can win football games. It's important. And the draft will be important, too. It's exciting."
The Dolphins, who had more than $35 million in salary cap space before Hartline's deal, also are expected to court Pittsburgh receiver Mike Wallace when free agency begins March 12.