Miami Dolphins to debut rookie CB Cordrea Tankersley over Byron Maxwell

Byron Maxwell’s future is in question beyond merely this week. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

LONDON–It’s deja vu for the Dolphins as Byron Maxwell’s early-season benching comes right on schedule.

Miami will debut third-round pick Cordrea Tanklersley and start him over Maxwell against the Saints today at Wembley Stadium. Tankersley was inactive the first two games.

Not only has Maxwell lost his starting job, he’s on the inactive list for this game. Fellow veteran Alterraun Verner, who was supposedly battling Maxwell for the starting job going into the original opener against Tampa Bay, will be available off the bench.

Maxwell had no known injury, meaning him losing his starting spot was performance-related. He would’ve been active off the bench, but tweaked his hamstring in warmups.

Second-year cornerback Xavien Howard had already passed Maxwell as the teams top corner in the preseason.

The Dolphins benched Maxwell in Week 4 last year as well, sitting him altogether against the Bengals. Whether that had a direct impact, it marked the turning point in his season. After struggling the first three games, he played at a Pro Bowl level the rest of the way.

The shift from Maxwell to Tankersley comes much earlier than anticipated, but did appear to be a long-term plan for Miami either way. In addition to investing a high draft pick in Tankersley, the Dolphins have the option to release Maxwell after this season with no salary cap impact.

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