Byron Maxwell was expected to be one of the bright spots in the Miami Dolphins‘ defensive backfield this season. After poor and undisciplined cornerback play early in the season, however, the Dolphins have reportedly decided to release the seven-year pro.
Along with Maxwell’s release, the Dolphins signed quarterback David Fales, who is expected to backup Matt Moore this Thursday as Jay Cutler recovers from the rib injury he sustained against the New York Jets.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news of Maxwell’s release early Tuesday morning. He added that Maxwell is expected to have suitors once he hits free agency.
Dolphins released CB Byron Maxwell today, per source. Expected to have a market.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 24, 2017
The Dolphins acquired Maxwell in the 2016 trade with the Philadelphia Eagles that sent the cornerback, linebacker Kiko Alonso, and a first round draft pick to Miami in return for the Dolphins’ first rounder. Maxwell was expected to serve as the Phins’ top corner this season, but he was benched by the coaching staff early in the 2016-17 campaign after he began freelancing on the field and not playing the style of defense that was asked of him.
“ … in no way, shape, did I think my play [warranted] that,” Maxwell told the Miami Herald‘s Armando Salguero following the benching. “It’s a coach’s decision. Sometimes you have to deal with it. I’m a team player. Suck it up. Obviously, you think you’re the best man to do the job. You can’t control it. Everyone is trying to support your family trying to do the job.”
Maxwell was replaced by Xavien Howard and rookie Cordrea Tankersley at the top cornerback positions in recent weeks and it looks like head coach Adam Gase is willing to stick with the talented youngsters going forward.
Maxwell’s departure puts a strain on a position group that has been a question mark all season long. It’s apparent by his release, however, that whatever he was doing on the field or off of it was no longer welcome by a team that looks to continue its current three-game winning streak and further solidify its self as a playoff contender in the AFC.