We mentioned last week that Bobby McCain would likely get real consideration to be the Dolphins' starting cornerback opposite Xavien Howard this summer.
McCain, who has been almost exclusively a slot corner his first three years as a pro, is on board with that plan.
"I want to be in the game as much as I can," he told reporters Tuesday after the team's fourth OTA practice of the spring. "If that’s what we’ve got to do, that’s what we got to do. If I have to play outside, I’ll play outside. Inside or outside, whatever it is, I want to be in the game."
McCain, who appears to be competing with Tony Lippett and Cordrea Tankersley for a starting job, sees himself as more than a nickel.
"I’m a corner," he insists.
And he might be a well-paid one soon.
He was the Dolphins' highest-graded cornerback last year, according to Pro Football Focus, and it's easy to see why. He had 402 snaps in coverage and allowed 44 receptions on 65 targets. Those 44 catches went for 431 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. When McCain was on the boundary, quarterbacks completed just 6 of 11 attempts for 64 yards.
McCain is peaking at the right time. He's entering Year 4, the time when the best players start getting contract extensions from the team that drafted him.
When asked by a reporter if the Dolphins have approached him about a new deal, the usually smooth McCain got all turned around.
“Um, I mean, um, uh, I mean I …”
Is that a yes or no?
“I mean, I um, I mean I ... No, I’m just going out and trying to play my best ball.”
Despite his coyness, we hear there's no deal imminent, but that's not surprising. The Dolphins' available cap space is measured in the thousands until Ndamukong Suh's contract comes off the books this weekend. That will free up $17 million, allowing the Dolphins to sign their rookies and work out extensions with deserving players — like McCain.
"It’s a contract year," McCain said. "There’s no secret at the end of the day, but me personally, I think just go out and play. If you go out and play ball, it will end up well for you at the end of the day. You win ballgames, everybody gets paid. Period. That’s just how it is. You go out, take a team to the playoffs, go deep in the playoffs, go to the Super Bowl, everybody gets paid."
One more McCain: He's buried the hatchet with his enemy-turned-teammate Danny Amendola. The two players scrapped when Amendola was with the Patriots last season, resulting in McCain's ejection. They now battle every day in practice.
"He’s not as bad as I thought he was," McCain said. "He’s a good guy. At the end of the day, he’s a leader. He’s going to be real good for this locker room, for this team and the organization."