When Miami Dolphins left tackle Laremy Tunsil was drafted in the first round last offseason, veteran Branden Albert became his mentor, knowing full well Tunsil would eventually take his job. Now, with the drafting of cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, veteran Byron Maxwell is doing the same.
"I’ll do anything I can to help," Maxwell said Wednesday. "Whether it’s just bouncing ideas off of him like, ‘Maybe you should do it this way. Or maybe you should do some things off the field to get better.’ So I definitely will help him. I feel like it’s my job.”
Maxwell, who went to Clemson just like the newly-drafted Tankersley, is currently set to make $8.5 million this season, meaning he will make more than the other three boundary corners - Lippett, Howard and Tankersley - combined.
If Maxwell doesn't have a spectacular season, he could find himself either cut or forced into a pay cut in 2018, as the Dolphins would save $10 million dollars with no dead cap, saving a huge amount of cash for the next offseason.
But despite all this, Maxwell was happy to see Tankersley be drafted in the third round, especially after the poor performance the defense put forth in 2016, and also the fact that Tankersley is from Clemson like him.
“He’s from Clemson so I was happy." he said. "Like I said, you always need d-lineman and you always need corners to win in this league. First, rebuilding the defense. If you don’t have those positons, then you really don’t have a chance. So you need depth at those positions too. I was happy. I was happy with the draft. They did a great job.”
Tankersley said about a month ago that he wanted to follow in Maxwell's footsteps, and the veteran expects to see a lot from the rookie after watching him during his college career.
“I watched him a lot. I watched him a lot just watching the (Clemson) games. He showed up. He always popped. He has great ball skills. He always finds the ball. It was great. I watched him a lot, him being from my alma mater.”
It speaks highly of Maxwell as a leader that he is willing to teach Tankersley and the other young corners what he knows despite his own status on the team potentially being in jeopardy. Perhaps if he plays his cards right, he will be rewarded for his work through another playoff appearance.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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