MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 07: Xavien Howard #25 of the Miami Dolphins looks on during the second half of the game against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium on January 07, 2024 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Dolphins Part Ways With 4-Time Pro Bowler

The Miami Dolphins will release four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard when the new league year begins, a league source confirms to FanBuzz.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo tweeted the news via X.

News of Howard's impending Miami departure was first reported by Garafolo, a move that was at least partially telegraphed when the Dolphins acquired Jalen Ramsey last spring.

Howard remains an elite playmaker, one of the top players at a premium position, and should expect a robust market when free agency begins. Last season, Howard produced 45 tackles with one interception, and according to Pro Football Focus held opposing quarterbacks to an 86.7 passer rating as receivers averaged a paltry 11.4 yards per reception when targeting him.

The 30-year-old Howard has 29 career interceptions and is a two-time All-Pro, including a First-Team selection in 2020.

Aiding Howard's chances of landing a top contract this offseason is the fact that his signing won't factor into any team's compensatory draft picks for 2025. This marks the first time in Howard's career that he'll be playing for a team other than the Dolphins, who originally selected him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Miami will have a new look in 2024, with Anthony Weaver taking over as defensive coordinator, following Vic Fangio's departure, and in all likelihood significantly different personnel from the team that walked off the frigid Arrowhead Stadium field to close out the AFC Wild Card round.

Fangio is now the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, who will likely be overhauling a secondary that disappointed down the stretch and could be a team to watch for Howard.

Presuming the Dolphins designate Howard as a post-June 1 release, Miami would create upwards $18.5 million in cap space for the 2024 season. Moving on from Howard is likely the first of many moves to come as the Dolphins aim to create cap space, with Miami currently projected to be roughly $38.5 million over the cap ahead of free agency getting underway.

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