The Dolphins are bringing back some secondary depth and a key special teamer in cornerback Justin Bethel, according to the team’s official Twitter account. The veteran defensive back had largely been relegated to special teams but found new life on defense with the Dolphins last year.
After a long opening tenure in Arizona, Bethel has bounced around from the Falcons to the Ravens to the Patriots before finally landing with the Dolphins last year. Although he used to get many more defensive playing opportunities early in his career, Bethel was always known as a special teams savant. In his second, third, and fourth seasons, Bethel made three consecutive Pro Bowl appearances as a special-teamer.
As he moved on from the Cardinals, and as time went on, Bethel’s snap count on defense grew smaller and smaller. 2022 saw a resurgence for the 32-year-old as the Dolphins allowed Bethel more playing time on defense than he had seen in the previous four years combined, since his time in Arizona. Bethel wasn’t the team’s best defender but delivered as a depth option, totaling one interception and four passes defensed.
Miami now boasts two stars at the cornerback position and retained many of their talented backup pieces, as well. Bethel’s role projects to be similar in 2023 as it was last year. With the added talent at the position, he may not be required as much on defense, but he provides the Dolphins with veteran depth and his usual stellar special teams play.