New Dolphins CB Siran Neal explains why he signed with the team

The Miami Dolphins have been ferociously signing free agents over the last few weeks to fill some of the large holes that were left by players who were leaving the team this offseason.

One of the recently signed free agents is cornerback Siran Neal, who will mostly be making an impact on the third unit of the game – special teams.

According to ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques, Neal ranks 12th in special teams tackles and first in special teams forced fumbles since he entered the league in 2018.

Why did Neal, who the numbers show has been one of the best gunners in the league, decide to sign with Miami?

“The decision to sign with the Dolphins – basically with the NFL, it can be a little tricky,” Neal said. “It’s all built off relationships. Coming from Buffalo, I love Buffalo, shoutout to Buffalo for everything they gave me throughout the past six years. It furthered our relationship. Just getting the opportunity to come down and talk to Danny (Crossman) about everything, he was more excited to have me than I’ve ever seen before. When I came through the door, his face lit up. That’s one thing he did as soon as I walked into the door. I just knew he saw me that he was happy to see me. He did everything in his willpower to have me. That’s one thing I loved about it.

“Once I saw that, I knew if he would go to war for me, when it’s time for the kickoff or it is time for the season to start or even during OTAs when we have to report back, I’m going to do whatever I have to do to fight for him.”

Crossman and Neal have a relationship that goes back a while, as they were both in Buffalo in 2018. At the time, Neal was just a rookie, and Crossman was in his final season as the team’s special teams coordinator.

While it was only one year, it’s clear that Crossman made an impact on the cornerback.

“Danny is my boy,” Neal said. “I had Danny my rookie year when I came in with Buffalo. Danny is really a passionate coach too as well. He really loves the game. He really loves being that coach and really loves his players. That’s one thing that me and Danny over the years, we kept in contact and kept a close relationship through this whole process. Every time we played him, like I told him yesterday, I always wanted to make him smile and see what he’s going to say at the end of the game. That’s one thing that I took under my sleeve. I knew every time I played him, he was going to give me his best and I was going to give him my best.”

At this point, Miami’s top two gunners on the roster last year, Justin Bethal and Keion Crossen (who missed all of 2023 with an injury), are still free agents. If the Dolphins don’t bring one of them back, there may be a lot of pressure on Neal to perform in his role, but he’s going to be ready for the challenge with the backing of his coordinator.

Story originally appeared on Dolphins Wire