Byron Maxwell wasn’t surprised that he didn’t start at corner Thursday night.
The coaches told him earlier in the week that he’d be on the bench, and Tony Lippett would be on the field, against the Bengals.
Did he think it was deserved?
“It doesn’t matter.”
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Was he angry over the decision?
“It really don’t matter with emotions.”
Maxwell was active Thursday, but by an unofficial count, he did not see the field for a single snap.
Lippett, meanwhile, had ups and downs in the first start of his career. But he didn’t do nearly enough to slow down A.J. Green, who roasted the Dolphins for 173 yards and a touchdown on 10 catches.
“We felt like we wanted to give Tony Lippett a shot, and that was a decision we as a coaching staff decided to make,” Gase said. “The one thing is Byron is going to be here, and Byron is going to come to work. We want him to keep practicing and figuring out a way to get better. ... When we go and play our next game, whoever is out there is who we’re playing that week.”
Benching Maxwell is a major statement by Gase. Maxwell has the Dolphins’ sixth-highest salary cap figure in 2016 ($8.5 million, all in base salary).
And he needs to play much better if he wants to earn the $8.5 million he’s due next year. The Dolphins can wipe all but $3 million of that off the books by cutting him.
“We get back to work,” Maxwell said. “We come back Monday. That’s what I’ll do, and that’s what the team’s going to do. Most important thing is winning, getting the season back together, and win some games. That’s the most important thing.”