Dolphins Expected to Release All-Pro, Potential Commanders Target

Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins, Washington Commanders

Getty Xavien Howard warming up for the Dolphins game against the Jets.

Apotential Washington Commanders target is expected to be releaseed. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that the Miami Dolphins informed Xavien Howard that he will be released at the start of the league year.

“The Dolphins have informed CB Xavien Howard he will be released at the start of the league year… The four-time Pro Bowl selection is expected to have significant interest on the market.”

Howard, 30 years old, is a four-time Pro-Bowler and was a first team All-Pro in the 2020 season. At his best, he was arguably the best cornerback in football, finsihing the 2020 season with 10 interceptions.

The Commanders, in search of defensive help with Kendall Fuller and Kamren Curl set to hit free agency, should have interest in pursuing Howard.

Commanders Viewed as a Fit for Howard

The former Miami Dolphins star fits in perfectly with the Washington Commanders. As a team in 2023, the Commanders allowed 262.2 passing yards per game, the most in the NFL.

As a team, they allowed over 30 points per game, the most in football by almost four points. With Dan Quinn taking over, the defense must improve. He’s a defensive minded head coach, serving as the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, so he should have interest in Howard, too.

Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network writes that the Commanders are a landing spot and could be in play for Howard.

“Washington allowed 63 more points than any team in the NFL and finished dead last in pass defense DVOA. Dan Quinn and the rest of the Commanders’ decision-makers should be contemplating any and all additions on the defensive side of the ball.”

Howard will be designated with a post June 1 release on March 13, before his $3 million bonus is due, according to Spotrac. The Dolphins will carry his near $26 million cap hit into June with dead hits in 2024 and 2205.

Spotrac adds that Howard will be allowed to sign with any other team starting on March 14.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report viewed the Commanders as a possible landing spot for Howard.

“The Commanders, who ranked last in passing yards allowed last season, could also be interested in Howard if he’s available. New head coach Dan Quinn has a defensive background, and he should quickly recognize that Washington doesn’t have the defensive talent to compete in the NFC East.”

What Xavien Howard Would Bring to the Commanders

Howard would bring toughness and a ballhawk to a Washington Commanders defense that can use all of the help it can get.

With the Miami Dolphins, Howard showed signs of slowing down physically. He played in just 13 games this season due to injuries and had just one interception. He was better in 2023 than he was in 2022 as he allowed 779 yards on 84 targets during that season.

The injuries have slowed him down but Quinn could put him in a position to succeed. LAst season, the Cowboys allowed just 192.1 passing yards per game, the fifth fewest in the NFL. Quinn did an excellent job of limiting passing yards and should look to bring over that same scheme with the Commanders.

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