A pair of free agents who hit the open market early are set to pay visits to interested teams today. Per Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link), defensive end Quinton Coples is visiting the Panthers, while Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that cornerback Brice McCain is paying a visit to the Titans.
Both Coples and McCain were cut by the Dolphins at the same time last month due to their increasing cap hits and Miami’s need to clear some space. While the moves cost the two veterans their spots on the Dolphins’ roster, they were afforded the opportunity to reach unrestricted free agency nearly a month before this year’s crop of pending free agents. McCain took advantage of that opportunity by visiting the Buccaneers prior to the combine, with reports at the time suggesting the Steelers and Titans also wanted to bring him in.
McCain, 29, signed with the Dolphins last March after spending five seasons in Houston and one in Pittsburgh. The veteran corner started 10 games and played 735 defensive snaps for the Dolphins in 2015, picking up an interception to go along with 39 tackles. He would provide some veteran depth in Tennessee if he signs with the Titans, though the team probably won’t want to pencil him in as a starter right away.
As for Coples, the 16th overall pick from the 2012 draft had his best year as a pro in 2014, but even that amounted to just 35 tackles and 6.5 sacks, modest totals for a first-round pass rusher. When Todd Bowles took over as the Jets’ head coach a year ago, Coples was further marginalized in New York. Due to his poor fit in Bowles’ defense – and perhaps an alleged incident on a team flight, though Bowles denied that – the 25-year-old was waived by the club in the fall, and had a brief cup of coffee with the Dolphins before being cut again.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Coples will take a physical in Carolina today as part of his visit with the Panthers. The defending NFC champions could be in the market for some help at defensive end, with increasingly expensive veteran Charles Johnson a candidate to be released this offseason, but the club does have some depth at the position behind Johnson and fellow starter Kony Ealy.
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