April 24, 2024

The Miami Dolphins are releasing cornerback Xavien Howard, the team’s second-round choice in 2016. Howard, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, established himself as a cornerstone of the Dolphins’ secondary, leading the league in interceptions in 2018 and 2020. In a salary cap move, the Dolphins classified Howard as a post-June 1 cut, saving the team $18.5 million against the cap in 2024 but limiting access to the money until June 2.

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier suggested during his media appearance at the NFL Scouting Combine last week that the team had not ruled out Howard’s comeback. Grier remarked, “At the end of the day, we just felt it was appropriate for [Howard] to have this opportunity for his agent to go see what’s out there for him.” However, we did not rule it out. We’ll stay in touch throughout the process and see what happens, and we’ve left the door open for him to return here as well.”

Grier may have attempted to keep the door open for Howard, but on Thursday, the cornerback looked to slam it shut. Howard stated on 560 WQAM’s The Joe Rose Show, “That door it closed.”

 

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard is not expected to play against the Buffalo Bills - The Phinsider

 

During the appearance, Howard and host Joe Rose discussed the Dolphins’ defense in 2023, led by defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Howard said he has always played as a press corner, but this season he had to play more off-ball and zone defense. He wants to join a squad that will use his strengths, but the past year in Miami demonstrated that he can also play off-ball.

Howard appeared in 100 games for the Dolphins over eight years, starting 99 of them, and recorded 331 tackles, two sacks, 95 passes defensed, and 29 interceptions with two touchdowns.

Howard also stated during the interview that he expected to be released from the Dolphins, understanding that the business side of the game would eventually lead to the transfer. Rose also mentioned the Houston Texans as a possible destination for Howard, which would allow him to play in his hometown and reconnect him with tackle Laremy Tunsil, whom the Dolphins selected first overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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