Stop us if you’ve heard this before:
The Dolphins get a head-start on free agency by trading for a big-name corner.
It happened in 2016. And it could again in 2017.
People familiar with the Dolphins’ thinking say that the team has considered again trading for a starting cornerback, as the organization did last year. Then, it was Byron Maxwell who ended up in aqua and orange.
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It’s unclear who the Dolphins are targeting this time around, but they have obvious connections to Aqib Talib (who was with Adam Gase in Denver) and Richard Sherman (whose game fits Miami’s style), among others. Sherman has two years, $22 million in base salary left on his existing deal; Talib is due $30 million over the next three.
Money wouldn’t be an option with either, as the Dolphins are expected to have some $50 million in cap space.
For the Dolphins to make a trade happen, they would either have to surrender a starting player, a high draft pick -- or possibly both. They have options; Branden Albert isn’t part of Miami’s 2017 plans but remains on the roster, making him an intriguing bargaining chip.
A blockbuster trade fits Mike Tannenbaum’s style. He acquired both Maxwell and Kiko Alonso from the Eagles last spring and sent a third-rounder to New Orleans for Kenny Stills in 2015.
Along with Maxwell, the Dolphins have promising young corners in Xavien Howard and Tony Lippett on the roster.