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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Xavien Howard touchdown spots: CB open to pay lower with contender as a result of ‘how a lot cash do you really want?’

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The Miami Dolphins‘ star-studded defensive backfield of four-time Professional Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard and seven-time Professional Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey isn’t any extra.

The Dolphins launched Howard, who had three years remaining on his five-year, $90 million contract, at the beginning of the NFL’s new league 12 months. The crew launched him at the beginning of the brand new league 12 months on March 13 and nonetheless designated him as a post-June 1 lower to hit most financial savings. 

Miami will accumulate $18.5 million in wage cap financial savings by designating Howard as a post-June 1 launch, in line with the Solar Sentinel. In distinction, the Dolphins would have solely save $2.8 million if that they had lower Howard earlier than June 1. Nevertheless, that cap aid does not hit till June 1, which means Miami should carry Howard’s full cap cost for the present season till June.

Howard has already been changed in Miami by Kendall Fuller, however he’s nonetheless searching for his personal new residence. 

Howard’s 29 profession interceptions since he entered the league as a second-round choose of the Dolphins (thirty eighth total) in 2016 are the second most throughout the final eight seasons, trailing solely Denver Broncos Professional Bowl security Justin Simmons‘ 30. His finest 12 months got here in 2020 when he led the league with 10 interceptions, which earned him his solely First-Crew All-Professional nod. Howard’s 4 Professional Bowl picks in a Dolphins uniform are tied for the second most in franchise historical past by a defensive again, trailing solely security Jake Scott’s 5 within the 1970’s.

With Howard nonetheless in the marketplace, here’s a have a look at 5 potential free company touchdown spots for the cornerback, who turns 31 on July 4. 

Throughout an look on The OGs Podcast, hosted by former Miami Warmth gamers Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller, Howard stated he want to play for the Texans. “I might love to do this. Particularly again at residence, the crib,” Howard stated. “I would not say I’ve at all times been a Houston Texans fan, however this offseason, I am a Houston Texans fan. I’ve had it tatted on me. I even acquired the Houston Rockets and the Texans (logos) tatted on me.”

Howard even stated he’d be keen to take a pay lower as a result of the Texans are a contender. “I would somewhat take a pay lower to go to a crew that is going to go additional within the playoffs,” Howard stated. “I acquired my cash and stuff like that. I am to the purpose, like, ‘How a lot cash do you really want?’

“My aim is at all times to attempt to win a Tremendous Bowl. Do not let the cash get in the best way of successful a Tremendous Bowl. Some individuals receives a commission, and a few individuals win a Tremendous Bowl. Some individuals do each. You do each, you are completely different. I wish to be completely different. I wish to win a Tremendous Bowl now. I already acquired paid, so now (a Tremendous Bowl) is what I am trying ahead to.”

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The Texans try to win now after they have been in a position to win the AFC South and reached the AFC divisional spherical in quarterback C.J. Stroud’s first season by which he earned Offensive Rookie of the 12 months honors. That they had a pair foundational defensive items already in 2023 Defensive Rookie of the 12 months edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. and 2022 third total choose cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., whose 5 interceptions have been tied for the fourth most within the NFL final season, they usually added Danielle Hunter, Denico Autry, and Tim Settle to their protection this offseason. Howard might put issues excessive.

Detroit Lions

The NFC runner-ups are in an awesome spot as their rebuild is now forward of schedule with the crew reaching the convention championship spherical with rookies like working again Jahmyr Gibbs, tight finish Sam LaPorta and security Brian Department taking part in key roles. Nevertheless, Detroit’s secondary might nonetheless use some work because it was beneath league common in move protection (336.1 passing yards per sport allowed, nineteenth in NFL). Howard can add some wanted expertise to what’s total a younger defensive backfield. 

The Lions additionally lately launched cornerback Cam Sutton, who is needed by police in Florida in reference to a home battery incident. 

The 2023 Commanders have been the worst protection in soccer. They ranked lifeless final in scoring protection (30.5 factors per sport allowed), complete protection (388.9 complete yards per sport allowed), move protection (262.2 passing yards per sport allowed), passing touchdowns allowed (39) and passer ranking allowed (105.7). 

Cornerback stays a dire want for Washington. Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste allowed the second-most passing yards by a single participant within the NFL final season, 872 yards to be precise. Emmanuel Forbes, the crew’s sixteenth total choose within the 2023 NFL Draft, struggled immensely with the transition from taking part in within the SEC at Mississippi State in school to the NFL final season. Washington benched him from Weeks 12-16. The crew’s solely notable CB signings this offseason have been Michael Davis and Noah Igbinoghene

Howard would stroll into Washington as its high nook instantly. New head coach Dan Quinn’s Dallas Cowboys defenses thrived upon getting takeaways (93, led the NFL from 2021-2023), particularly from interceptions (59, led the NFL from 2021-2023). He will definitely need huge upgrades on the cornerback place, and Howard could possibly be the beginning of that for the Commanders this offseason. 

The Raiders underwent a major defensive turnaround final season following the firing of head Josh McDaniels and the promotion of linebackers coach Antonio Pierce to interim head coach. Las Vegas led the NFL in scoring protection (16.0) beneath Pierce from Week 9 by the conclusion of the 2023 common season.

Nevertheless, they nonetheless ranked twenty second in passing yards per sport allowed (226.0) beneath Pierce final season, highlighting their secondary as an space for enchancment getting into his first season because the crew’s full-time head coach. One of many Raiders’ beginning cornerbacks, Amik Robertson, signed with Detroit, opening a spot that Howard might slide into. Vegas splashed the pot for Christian Wilkins already in free company, however might add one other former Dolphin by inking Howard. 

The Minnesota Vikings protection confirmed important enchancment beneath defensive coordinator Brian Flores in his first season on the controls. Minnesota allowed 25.1 factors per sport in 2022, rating twenty eighth out of 32 groups. Underneath Flores, that quantity dropped to 21.3 factors per sport, good for thirteenth within the league.

Nevertheless, they nonetheless struggled towards the move (234.5 passing yards per sport, twenty fourth within the league), and a number of their success could be attributed to Flores’ schematic smoke and mirrors. Flores had Minnesota blitzing at a league-high price of fifty.7% in try to fight their lack of move rush (32.1% quarterback pressures price, twenty seventh in NFL) outdoors of Professional Bowl edge rusher Danielle Hunter, who ranked high 10 within the NFL in pressures (80, tenth) and sacks (16.5, fifth). 

Hunter is gone, changed by Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel. The Vikings might use some veteran savvy on the again finish of their protection, and Flores coached Howard for 3 seasons as his head coach from 2019-2021. A reunion within the Twin Cities would make sense for each events. 



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