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Dolphins express interest in free agent cornerbacks

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Miami could look toward free agency to strengthen the team's secondary

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have expressed interest in free agent cornerbacks Leon Hall and Antonio Cromartie.

The Dolphins internally have discussed unsigned veteran corners Leon Hall and Antonio Cromartie. The only 2015 full-time cornerback starters, below the age of 35, that are still available are Cromartie and Arizona’s Jerraud Powers (Miami has not pursued Powers to this point).

Miami still has a glaring need at cornerback, despite the addition of Byron Maxwell and Xavien Howard this offseason.  In year’s past, Vance Joseph has been able to get the most out of his cornerbacks.  Whether or not Xavien Howard earns the start opposite of Maxwell, a veteran cornerback would be a welcomed addition to the team’s secondary.

Leon Hall

In 2007, Leon Hall was the Bengals’ first-round draft pick.  Through his professional career, Hall recorded 26 interceptions.  Unfortunately, only four of those interceptions have come over the last three seasons.  In addition, Hall also combined for 415 tackles and 105 passes defended.   At 5’11, 195-pounds, Hall might not be the biggest corner, but he plays with a chip on his shoulder.  His skill-set makes him the perfect fit for the Dolphins’ attacking defense.  With familiarity in Joseph’s system, Hall’s learning curve would be minimal.  Adding Leon Hall seems like any easy decision, one that may inevitably come down to what kind of contract the nine-year veteran is searching for.  He would be a great addition to a Dolphins’ secondary that struggled in 2015.

Here, Leon Hall is located in the slot at the top of the screen, matched up one on one with Larry Fitzgerald.  Hall does a great job of shadowing Fitzgerald, before making a play on the football.

NFL GamePass

Antonio Cromartie

Barry Jackson also named former New York Jets' cornerback Antonio Cromartie in his article.  Cromartie, 32, looked like a shell of himself during the 2015 season.  The former 19th overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft combined for 31 interceptions over the course of his career.   At 6'2, 210-pounds, Cromartie fits the mold of a prototypical NFL cornerback.  Any team that signs Cromartie will be taking a huge risk.  After all, it has been over a year since he last had an interception.  If Vance Joseph believes he can revitalize the former pro-bowl cornerback, the Dolphins could get a real bargain in free agency.

In this play, Antonio Cromartie is in perfect position to intercept the errant Nick Foles' pass.  When the ball is in hands, very few cornerbacks are as dangerous as he.

NFL GamePass

Whether the Dolphins sign Hall or Cromartie in free agency, the future of the team relies heavily on second-round draft pick Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain and Tony Lippett.  Adding another veteran would be beneficial for the team's short term success, but could prolong the immediate development of several key players.  No matter what the Dolphins decide, I trust Vance Joseph to get the most out of his players.  #InVanceJosephWeTrust