Nolan Carroll signed with Eagles

Four-year veteran cornerback Nolan Carroll signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Carroll, a 2010 fifth-round pick who started 27 games for the Dolphins the past four seasons, had 47 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions last season. (Jim Rassol / Sun Sentinel / November 24, 2013)

The Miami Dolphins have lost two of the team's starting cornerbacks in 2013.

Earlier this week the Dolphins released often-injured starter Dimitri Patterson, and on Thursday four-year veteran Nolan Carroll signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Carroll, a 2010 fifth-round pick who started 27 games for the Dolphins the past four seasons, was being courted by the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and the Eagles.

The Dolphins didn't make re-signing Carroll, who contributed 47 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions last season, a priority because the team has some young talents at cornerback the organization feels will develop with playing time.

The Dolphins used a second-round pick on Jamar Taylor, and a third-round pick in the 2013 draft to select Will Davis. Both rookies played sparingly last season because of injuries, inexperience, and Miami's depth at the position.

Cutting Patterson created $5.4 million in cap savings for the franchise, and letting Carroll sign with the Eagles opens up the starting spot opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes.

However, the Dolphins do have some depth and experience concerns at cornerback considering Grimes, Taylor, Davis and Jalil Brown, a third-year veteran Miami signed this offseason, are the only true cornerbacks presently on the roster.

Jimmy Wilson has manned the nickel spot for the past two seasons, but the Dolphins have been grooming this 2011 seventh-round pick to play the free safety position for the past two seasons.

It is likely that Wilson will serve as Louis Delmas' backup in 2013, if not push him for the starting spot. The Dolphins could also address the safety position by drafting one in Miami, and move Wilson back to cornerback.

The Dolphins drafted Don Jones in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, and primarily used him on special teams last season. Jones is listed as a cornerback but spent his rookie season playing safety.

It is likely that the Dolphins will add a couple inexpensive cornerbacks via free agency, or draft a few in May. The Dolphins typically carry six cornerbacks on the 53-man roster and a pair of defensive backs on the practice squad. Defensive backs have significant value to NFL teams because they usually work on special teams as gunners.

The Dolphins have not shut the door on re-signing Patterson, who pulled down four interceptions in the five games he played last season. But the seven-year veteran is presently testing the free agent market.

It is also a possibility that Miami explore signing recently released veteran cornerbacks like Antonio Cromartie, Cortland Finnegan and Asante Samuel. Cromartie and Samuel have South Florida ties, and Tampa Bay, the franchise new GM Dennis Hickey came from, aggressively pursued Finnegan when he was a free agent in 2012.