Barry Jackson

Dolphins poke around on cornerbacks, mull outside linebacker issue

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase talks to the media at a “season end” press conference at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida, Jan. 11, 2017. Mike Tannenbaum, vice president of football operations, and GM Chris Greer also attended the press conference.
Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase talks to the media at a “season end” press conference at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida, Jan. 11, 2017. Mike Tannenbaum, vice president of football operations, and GM Chris Greer also attended the press conference. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

A few Dolphins notes on a Tuesday morning:

• The Dolphins have been poking around on available cornerbacks and they’ve expressed some level of interest in former Bills starter Nickel Robey-Coleman, according to someone with direct knowledge.

But as of early Monday evening, a visit had not been set up with Miami.

Undrafted out of USC in 2013, Coleman appeared in every Bills game over the past four years and started 15 of them. He returned an interception for a touchdown against the Dolphins in 2013. Last season, he had two picks and returned one for a touchdown.

The Titans, Vikings, Chargers and Steelers are among other teams that have expressed interest in him, and a source said Miami is in the mix for him.

At 5-8, Coleman is ideally suited for the slot.

Coleman isn’t the only defensive back who has been on the Dolphins’ radar.

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier discusses Kenny Stills' contract, Ryan Tannehill's knee and more at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Former Broncos cornerback and special teams contributor Kayvon Webster told a Denver TV station that he had a visit planned with the Dolphins this week but canceled it to sign with the Rams on Monday.

Adam Gase has said the Dolphins need more bodies at cornerback to supplement Byron Maxwell, Xavien Howard, Tony Lippett and slot corner Bobby McCain. Lafayette Pitts is a developmental project.

The preference would be a for a cheap, young corner who could ideally play in the slot, excel on special teams and doesn’t expect a ton of playing time. There aren’t a lot of remaining free agents who fall into that category.

As of Monday, Miami hadn’t called on Sterling Moore, a Saints starter last season.

Other remaining unrestricted free agent cornerbacks who are 30 or younger are largely backups, journeymen, underachievers or players with injury issues: Morris Claiborne, Sam Shields (has been dealing with serious concussion issues), Patrick Robinson, former Dolphin Brice McCain, Colts backup Darryl Morris, Tampa Bay bust Alterraun Verner, Steelers bust Justin Gilbert, Baltimore backup Shareece Wright, Green Bay’s Davon House, Titans backup Antwan Blake, Giants backups Trevin Wade and Coty Sensabaugh, the Saints’ B.W. Webb and Kyle Wilson, the Rams’ Troy Hill and Steve Williams, Dallas’ Leon McFadden, Carolina’s Teddy Williams, the Eagles Dwayne Gratz, the Lions’ Krezdon Butler, Steelers’ Cortez Allen and the Titans’ DeJoun Smith.

• To expand on our Koa Misi story which we first reported in February: Those close to Koa Misi have been left with the impression by the Dolphins that Miami would prefer to keep him, if he’s given a clean bill of health as expected in May following last year’s neck surgery. But it’s also expected that the Dolphins would want to restructure a contract that would pay him more than $4 million next season.

Misi is better than most of anything left in free agency at strongside linebacker. Neville Hewitt, who replaced injured Jelani Jenkins at weakside linebacker at times last season, also will compete for playing time.

But if the Dolphins use a high pick on an outside linebacker, they could re-evaluate their commitment to Misi.

Keep in mind that the Dolphins directly indicated interest in keeping Earl Mitchell a few weeks before they cut him. I don’t believe the Dolphins intentionally mislead players; I believe that occasionally, like with most teams, plans change after further evaluation and circumstances change.

So at this point, Misi appears to be in the plans, if he takes a pay cut. But as with everything in the NFL, this could change, with the draft playing a role in that.

• Defensive end Alex Okafor signed with the Saints today, according to multiple reports. The Dolphins reached out to his representation last week before trading for William Hayes.

For those interested in UM and the NCAA Tournament, I posted a lot of Tuesday morning nuggets here, including some news from Jim Larranaga.

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