With the release of veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield in March, it became clear the Minnesota Vikings were going to go with a youth movement in their secondary. The group got even younger on Monday with the release of cornerback Jacob Lacey, who had missed most of offseason work and training camp since signing in late April due to thumb and knee issues.
Lacey being cut loose leaves Marcus Sherels and Bobby Felder as the top two candidates to be Minnesota’s fifth cornerback, but could a veteran still be brought in at this late stage of the preseason?
The Miami Dolphins made a surprising move on Tuesday night by releasing cornerback Richard Marshall, who had been considered the front runner to start opposite free agent signing Brent Grimes this season. Marshall signed a three-year, $16 million deal with Miami prior to last season, but was limited to just four games by a back injury. Releasing him looks like largely a financial move for the Dolphins, as Marshall was slated to make $4.55 million this season, but it’s worth wondering if something else was at play for general manager Jeff Ireland to essentially admit to a significant mistake in player valuation.
Prior to landing in Miami, Marshall played five seasons (2006-2010) with the Carolina Panthers and one (2011) with the Arizona Cardinals, with at least three interceptions on five of those six seasons, and he has 18 interceptions for his career (including one with the Dolphins in 2012).
All indications are last season’s back issue is behind Marshall, and he had not missed a game in his career prior to that. Add in his ability to play both corner and safety, along with his relative youth (28), and many teams that need secondary help should have interest.
I think the Vikings should be one of the teams to show interest in Marshall, but I don’t expect them to get into a bidding war for his services. When it comes to adding a veteran to the secondary general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Leslie Frazier seem to be content to stand pat, even I remain skeptical.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.