With the start of the new league year approaching, Dolphins.com continues a series of free agency previews with cornerbacks.
The emergence of Xavien Howard as a Pro Bowl starter in his third NFL season was the big story at cornerback for the Dolphins in 2018.
Howard leads a young corps of cornerbacks where the veteran of the group is Bobby McCain, who just finished his fourth season. The other cornerbacks on the roster are 2017 third-round pick Cordrea Tankersley, 2018 sixth-round pick Cornell Armstrong, Torry McTyer, Jalen Davis, and three players signed to future contracts this offseason, Dee Delaney, Jomal Wiltz and Chris Lammons.
The Dolphins do not have a single cornerback scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent March 13.
Notable Free Agents at the Position
- Morris Claiborne, N.Y. Jets: The sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Claiborne spent the past two seasons with the Jets after five years with the Dallas Cowboys. Although injuries were an issue in Dallas, Claiborne started 15 games each of his two seasons in New York.
- Ronald Darby, Philadelphia Eagles: The former Buffalo Bills second-round pick saw each of his two seasons with the Eagles cut short by injuries near the halfway mark. Darby, who played at Florida State, has unquestionable ability but he is coming off a torn ACL.
- Pierre Desir, Indianapolis Colts: Originally a fourth-round pick of the Browns out of Lindenwood in 2014, Desir has developed into a solid NFL cornerback. He started 12 games for the Colts last season and had one interception and two forced fumbles.
- Brent Grimes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The 35-year-old veteran needs to be on this list because of his four Pro Bowl appearances, three of which came during his three seasons (2013-15) with the Dolphins. Grimes started 13 games for the Bucs last season, though he failed to record an interception for the first time (not counting seasons when he played two or fewer games).
- Jason McCourty, New England Patriots: The twin brother of Patriots safety Devin McCourty, Jason had the unique distinction of going from an 0-16 team (Cleveland) in 2017 to the Super Bowl champions in 2018. McCourty started 12 games for New England with one interception, but he'll always be remembered for his touchdown-saving pass breakup in the end zone in the Super Bowl.
- Steven Nelson, Kansas City Chiefs: A fourth-round pick in 2015, Nelson is coming off the best season of his four-year career. He started all 16 games for the Chiefs in 2018 and had the first four interceptions of his career.
- Bradley Roby, Denver Broncos: A first-round pick in 2014, Roby spent his first years in Denver as the third cornerback behind Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib, but he became a full-time starter in 2018 after Talib was traded to the Rams. Roby, a standout at Ohio State, had one interception and 12 passes defensed for the Broncos last season.
- Jason Verrett, L.A. Chargers: Injuries have been an issue for Verrett since he joined the Chargers as a first-round pick in 2014, including a torn Achilles tendon he sustained during a conditioning test last July. In the one season when he played more than six games (2016), Verrett made the Pro Bowl after starting 14 games and coming up with three interceptions, including a pick-six.