Miami Dolphins to bring in two free agents for visits; Nolan Carroll signs with Eagles

The Dolphins are expected to meet with offensive lineman Shelley Smith and cornerback Cortland Finnegan on Friday, and right tackle Zach Strief is being pursued by Miami.

03/14/2014 12:01 AM

03/14/2014 12:17 AM

A busy Friday will follow a quiet Thursday for the Dolphins.

The day after announcing no official visits, the Dolphins will host at least two free agents.

Guard Shelley Smith, formerly of the St. Louis Rams, was scheduled to arrive late Thursday for a meeting, the Miami Herald has learned.

And Cortland Finnegan, a one-time star cornerback, will also be in town, NFL Network first reported.

Finnegan, 30, is a former Pro Bowl selection with the Titans who signed a mega-deal with the Rams in 2012. However, decline in his play resulted in St. Louis releasing him earlier this month.

Finnegan ranked 109th out of 110 NFL cornerbacks in 2013, according to the scouting service Pro Football Focus. He allowed four touchdowns.

The Dolphins also have expressed interest in San Francisco’s Tarell Brown and Seattle’s Walter Thurmond.

Elsewhere, cornerback Nolan Carroll, who had a breakout season for the Dolphins in 2013, signed a two-year contract Thursday with the Eagles.

These are all signs that the Dolphins will search for affordable depth at the position and are comfortable with their young corners. Jamar Taylor, a second-round pick in 2013, is the likeliest candidate to start opposite Brent Grimes. Will Davis will also likely see his role increase.

As for the Dolphins offensive line, it was still a half-empty canvas three days into free agency, but the outlines are there.

New left tackle Branden Albert excitedly talked Wednesday about playing with Mike Pouncey, whom he called “a great center.”

But past that, Albert had no idea who else would join him on the line.

Smith is certainly an option. The first-week visit indicates he’s high on the team’s wish list.

Smith, 26, was a sixth-round draft pick of the Texans in 2010. His athletic build would fit in Miami, where the scheme calls for guards to get to the second level. Smith appeared in 14 games with St. Louis last season, starting two.

The Dolphins also need a right tackle, and Zach Strief remains an option. The Dolphins reached out to Strief on Thursday and asked him to visit. A decision is pending.

The league-wide sense has been that he prefers to return to New Orleans, but the Saints and Strief haven’t been able to come to an agreement. And he is now receptive to talking to other teams.

Pro Football Focus rated him seventh among all tackles last season, based on his 2013 performance.

Beyond Strief, the list of other remaining free agent tackles isn’t extraordinary. The group includes Michael Oher, Eric Winston, Ryan Harris and J’Marcus Webb.

Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero contributed to this report.

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