Dolphins plan to move on from longtime CB Xavien Howard

The Miami Dolphins plan to part ways with veteran cornerback Xavien Howard at the start of the league year.

Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins
Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins are one of the most cap-strapped teams in the NFL heading into the 2024 offseason, forcing them to make difficult decisions about the construction of their roster, including their plan to move on from longtime franchise cornerback Xavien Howard.

The Dolphins are the only team Howard has ever known since they selected him with the No. 38 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he will now hit the open market at the start of the league year, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Peter Schrager.

Garafolo notes that Howard is “expected to have significant interest on the market” following his official release, which is warranted considering how productive he has been throughout his career.

Miami Dolphins plan to release CB Xavien Howard

In eight seasons with the Phins, Howard made four Pro Bowl appearances and earned an All-Pro nod in 2020, when he recorded a league-leading 10 interceptions. The veteran cornerback also led the NFL in picks in 2018, despite only playing in 12 games.

Only Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons has recorded more interceptions (30) than Howard (29) since he entered the league in 2016 while playing 18 more games.

Since Miami is deciding to part ways with Howard ahead of June 1, the move will create a dead cap hit worth slightly above $21 million. Perhaps the Dolphins felt comfortable making this choice in light of the news that the 2024 salary cap will rise to $255.4 million.

Born in Houston, Texas, DJ Bien-Aime, a Houston Texans reporter for ESPN, has communicated that Howard “has interest in joining the Texans” and returning to his hometown.

Howard’s original five-year, $90 million contract was supposed to run through the 2026 season, but Miami is cutting ties prematurely. 

Ultimately, the talented veteran cornerback should land on his feet quickly and instantly become one of the top defensive backs on the market upon his release.

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