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Dolphins Hosting Former Bills' Siran Neal on a Visit

Dolphins are courting former Buffalo Bills special teams ace Siran Neal, looking to replenish the third unit of the team
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The Miami Dolphins are seemingly targeting one of its division rival's special teams aces, hosting Buffalo Bills defensive back Siran Neal on a free agent visit.

According to the NFL Network, Miami will host Neal on a visit Tuesday night, and if he leaves without signing a contract the Bills' 2018 fifth-round pick will take a visit with the Atlanta Falcons.

Typically, free agents taking visits are lower level players who have comparable deals on the table, and need to pass physicals to finalize the deals and make their selection.

What could appeal to this cornerback is the opportunity to play more on defense in Miami.

Neal signed a three-year extension with the Bills in February 2022 but was released last week in a move that freed up $3 million in cap space.

Neal lacks experience on defense

Neal, who started his college career at LSU before graduating from Jacksonville State University, has appeared in in 97 games for Buffalo, recording 115 tackles (four for a loss), five passes defensed, three quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and two fumbles recovered the past six season.

The 29-year-old has started one NFL game in his career. 

He's never played more the 18% of his team’s defensive snaps, but he’s been a steady force on special teams, contributing 240-plus snaps a season as a gunner and on coverage units.

Looking for special teams help

The Dolphins could use a special teams boost because Cam Smith, who served as gunner last season, might be elevated into a more prominent cornerback role this season since there's opportunity for him to redeem himself from his disappointing rookie season.

The Dolphins also enter free agency, which began on Monday with the negotiating period, with Justin Bethel, a 12-year veteran, being an unrestricted free agent, and the Dolphins releasing Keion Crossen to create $3 million in cap space.

The Dolphins did re-sign safety Elijah Campbell, who is a core special teams contributor, and cornerback Nik Needham this month. Both have been utilized on special teams in the past, and in Miami's nickel and dime defensive package.

If signed, Neal will be competing with Smith, Needham, Kader Kohou and Ethan Bonner for the two cornerback roles opposite Jalen Ramsey in Miami's defense.