Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess potentially could have become a restricted free agent after this season, depending on the way the next CBA is structured. Now Bess and the Dolphins won't have to worry about that after agreeing to a two-year contract extension this weekend that will make Bess the highest-paid slot receiver in the NFL outside of New England's Wes Welker.
"It's great for a lot of reasons," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "Here's a great example of me being able to point to and saying there's a guy right there that, you're an undrafted free agent and here's a guy that we rewarded; he deserves it."
Three seasons ago, Bess was an undrafted free agent out of Hawaii. In his second season with the Dolphins, he developed into a focal point of the offense. This year, Bess has 26 receptions for 282 yards and two touchdowns, putting him on pace for career highs in all three categories.
Bess also is on target to record the most receptions by a Dolphin in his first three seasons in the NFL. With his four receptions on Sunday, Bess has 155 catches for 1,591 yards and passed Oronde Gadsden for third on that list.
He needs seven catches to pass tight end Randy McMichael for second place on the list and 10 to pass Chris Chambers for first all-time.
Those numbers and his new contract are a product of the time Bess has put into his craft, Sparano said.
"There was no easy way for Davone to do this," Sparano said. "He did it through hard work and taking good coaching."