With training camp just starting, one of the Dolphins worst fears have already come to fruition. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey was carted off early on Thursday after covering Tyreek Hill in practice. An MRI concluded that he had torn his meniscus and will need to have it repaired. Unfortunately the timetable for his recovery is murky and it is likely that the Dolphins will be without Ramsey’s services for a large part of the season.
If there is not an apparent solution on this current roster, the Dolphins and GM Chris Grier will need to act swiftly - bringing in free agents as quickly as possible.
If they do go the free agent route, the following 3 corners should be at the top of their list.
1. Eli Apple
The former first-round pick seems to have made the most of his last two years. After bouncing around the league, Apple found a home with the Super Bowl-contending Cincinnati Bengals. Despite having played 30+ games, the team decided not to extend his contract.
The Bengals opted instead to get younger (and cheaper) at the position by selecting 3 corners in this past draft. Although Eli has never lived up to the expectations of his first-round draft status, he has the tools and experience necessary to be a serviceable boundary corner for the Dolphins.
The only immediate concern is that he tends to rub teammates and opponents the wrong way. With the amount of big personalities on this Dolphins roster, Apple will have no choice but to keep a low profile. Tyreek Hill has had his differences with him, perhaps they can settle it this offseason on the practice field.
2. Ronald Darby
Released by the Broncos this past March, Darby’s concern is that he isn’t able to stay healthy. Having suffered a multitude of injuries, Darby has only completed an entire season once in the past six years. The Broncos had signed him as a free agent back in 2021 during Vic Fangio’s tenure as head coach. The expectation was for him to be the starter, which he did 11 times that season.
This past year under HC Nathaniel Hackett, Darby tore his ACL in week 5 and never saw the field again. When healthy Darby is a quality player with minimal concerns. Having already played for Vic Fangio, Darby is very familiar with the Dolphins' defensive system, making his transition onto the team a smooth one.
3. Bryce Callahan
Having played for Fangio most of his career, Callahan is as familiar with the defensive coordinator as any player currently in the NFL. Back in 2015 Callahan began his career in Chicago while Vic was defensive coordinator. He was once again reunited with Fangio when the Broncos signed him as a free agent back in 2019. There he started alongside Chris Harris Jr as the right cornerback, a position he held until 2020.
After the addition of Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller back in 2021, Callahan lost his position as a boundary corner but was able to hold onto his role as the starting slot corner. Familiar with multiple positions in the Vic Fangio system, his versatility can be useful to the Dolphins as they sort out the defensive back situation. With the possibility of Kader Kohou moving outside, Callahan could replace Kohou in the slot for the foreseeable future.