Secret is out: Miami Dolphins’ Mike Pouncey’s car a ‘see if it blows up’ gift

Mike Pouncey’s ‘new’ wheels, an old Dodge Neon, appear to stand out slightly in the players’ parking lot at the training facility. (Courtesy of the Miami Dolphins)

DAVIE — Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is making $9 million this season, but don’t be shocked if you see him driving through town in a Dodge Neon that’s 17 years old, is missing as much paint as it has, and has the only portion of its pricetag still stuck on the windshield that makes sense — $00.

Pouncey is the proud owner — well, at least we know he’s the owner — of the Neon thanks to the Secret Santa gift swap that the Dolphins’ offensive linemen held.

Guard Ted Larsen tossed the car into the mix for two reasons:

1. Two of the younger linemen don’t have cars.

2. Larsen thinks of himself as a nice guy.

And things went according to plan when one of the younger linemen had the car … until Pouncey swiped it, for two reasons:

1. He is not a nice guy.

2. We have no clue.

OK, actually Pouncey is the easy-going type, and Larsen suspects Pouncey won’t actually keep the vehicle long.

“I think he might just drive it for a couple of days and see if it blows up,” Larsen said. “And if it doesn’t, he might give it to those guys.”

Larsen said linemen Zach Sterup and Sean Hickey don’t own cars.

“They could have used them, but ‘Pounce’ — the guy who didn’t have a car took it and then ‘Pounce’ kind of used his seniority and took it. Took it just for a toy, I guess. Add it to the collection, I guess.”

There was a $1,000 minimum in this Secret Santa and Larsen went for a car to be different because too many toss in iPads or barbecue grills, he said. (Ironically, Larsen ended up with a grill.)

“I just texted one of my buddies and said, ‘You know anybody who can get me a used car for about a thousand dollars?’ ” Larsen said. “And they found a bunch of cars within a matter of time.”

With that “bunch of cars” to choose from, Larsen found the final selection easy.

“Probably the most decrepit one that they had,” he said.

Apparently, Larsen isn’t that nice a guy.

“I thought I was kind of going to stick someone with a piece of crap car, but Pouncey wanted it for real,” Larsen said. “If you see him driving it around, watch out. You don’t know how the brakes are on that thing.”

It was receiver Jarvis Landry who spilled the beans about the car, sending reporters scrambling to learn the facts of this huge story.

“One of these guys bought somebody a car,” Landry said. “It’s crazy.”

Landry only described it as a “Dodge something,” conjuring visions of the kind of fancy cars you typically picture NFL players driving.

“Oh, it’s not a nice car,” Larsen said. “This thing is, like, barely running.”

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