6:03pm: Culliver’s one-year deal can be worth up to $5MM, according to Rapoport (Twitter link).
5:04pm: The Dolphins have reached an agreement to sign free agent cornerback Chris Culliver, a source tells Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Culliver will sign a one-year deal, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Miami has been on the lookout for secondary help for some time, as their cornerback depth chart is rather thin behind Byron Maxwell, whom the club acquired earlier this year via trade. Second-round rookie Xavien Howard had been expected to start opposite Maxwell, but he underwent surgery after suffering a knee injury during minicamp and is now on the active/PUP list. Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain, and Chimdi Chekwa currently round out the Dolphins’ depth chart at corner.
Culliver signed a four-year, $32MM contract with Washington in May 2015, ultimately playing out just one season of that deal. Although Culliver’s agreement with the club called for $16MM in full guarantees, including an $8MM guaranteed salary for 2016, that guarantee was voided when the cornerback was suspended one game for a 2014 incident.
Culliver, 28 next week, also tore his ACL in November, meaning his availability for the start of the season could be in doubt. He probably stood as one of the best true outside cornerbacks left on the open market and he is on the right side of 30, but it’s not clear when he might actually be able to take the field.
In 2014, his final season with the 49ers, Culliver limited opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 50.7% and a 66.5 passer rating when they threw into his coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF’s grades placed Culliver as the 14th-best cornerback out of 108 qualified players. In 2015, however, Culliver started six games for Washington, tallying 16 tackles and one pass deflection.
Culliver had also drawn interest from the Cardinals this offseason, and took a visit with the club in June. Back in May, we ranked Culliver as one of the best defensive free agents remaining on the board .
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