Byron Maxwell’s year-and-a-half rollercoaster ride with the Dolphins ended Tuesday when the Dolphins released the veteran cornerback, according to a league source.
Miami needed the roster spot to sign a backup quarterback - veteran David Fales, who agreed to terms this week.
Maxwell, acquired with linebacker Kiko Alonso in a spring 2016 trade with Philadephia, played poorly in the Dolphins’ first three games last season, was benched, regained his job after a Xavien Howard injury, played very well for a 10-game stretch, but then missed the final two regular season games and a playoff game with an injury.
He entered this season as a starter but played poorly and lost the job after two games, replaced by rookie Cordrea Tankersley.
Tankersley was involved in coverage on two Jets touchdown passes on Sunday, but the Dolphins remain committed to the Clemson rookie and had no intention of reinserting Maxwell.
Maxwell told The Miami Herald recently that he believed this season’s demotion wasn’t warranted but that he wouldn’t complain about it. He was inactive the past four games.
The Dolphins will move forward with Tankersley and Xavien Howard as their starting cornerbacks, with Bobby McCain their starting nickel and Alterraun Verner available as depth and Walt Aikens and Torry McTyer as young, developing corners with special teams value.
Maxwell finished his Dolphins career with 61 tackles, two interceptions and five forced fumbles in 15 games.
Maxwell’s contract for next season carried a $10 million hit only if he was on the team. Because he was released, Miami will have no cap hit at all for Maxwell next season.
Fales gives the Dolphins a veteran backup behind Matt Moore for Thursday’s game at Baltimore and potentially beyond.
Fales had a 97.8 passer rating for the Dolphins in preseason but was released in the final roster cutdowns.
Selected by the Chicago in the sixth round of the 2014 draft out of San Jose State, Fales, 27, has spent considerable time in NFL training camps but has played in only one regular season game, for the 2016 Bears, and completed two of five passes for 22 yards.
The Dolphins opted for Fales over former seventh-round pick Brandon Doughty, who remains on Miami’s practice squad.
Cutler is out indefinitely with broken ribs.