Well, that didn’t take long. Hours after auditioning him, the Dolphins have signed cornerback Alterraun Verner to a one-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). In a related move, linebacker Koa Misi has been placed on injured reserve.
Misi underwent spinal fusion surgery late last year and the hope was that he would be ready to go for the season opener. Apparently, he’s going to need more time before he can think about getting back on the field.
Misi, 30, managed only 127 defensive snaps in 2016 before going down with injury. In 2015, Misi’s last predominantly healthy season, he totaled 78 tackles and had one pass defensed. Though he’s never had huge sack totals, he did have 12 sacks from 2010 through 2014. Pro Football Focus, for the most part, has always been high on the former second-round pick. In 2014 and 2015, he had scores of 81.5 and 80.8, painting him as a top-30 linebacker in the league. Earlier this year, Misi accepted a pay cut for the second consecutive year, as he agreed to slash his salary by ~$3MM.
The good news is that the Dolphins were not necessarily counting on Misi’s health. The Dolphins signed former Steelers ‘backer Lawrence Timmons to a two-year, $12MM deal in March and used a second-round pick on Ohio State product Raekwon McMillan. Timmons and McMillan project to start along with Kiko Alonso while Mike Hull, Neville Hewitt, Trevor Reilly, and others will come on in support.
Verner did not live up to his big money deal in Tampa Bay, but the Dolphins are not expecting him to be a shutdown corner in 2017. They’ll likely look at Verner as a slot option who could potentially take the job from 2015 fifth-round pick Bobby McCain.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.