Cut or Trade Xavien Howard
Over the last two seasons, there have been questions surrounding whether Xavien Howard has lost a step. There have also been trade rumors involving Howard for some time. With a potential out as a post-June 1st cut, Chris Grier could be thinking about the long-term future of the Miami Dolphins by moving on from a player who hasn’t quite lived up to his contract. With his looming contract and dwindling plat, the All Pro corner is preparing for life after the Miami Dolphins.. If that is the case, the Fins could look to move on for more draft picks.
Howard is still a solid corner who does his best work with a safety over the top, and he’s asked to play man press in a blitz-heavy scheme. The Vikings are a great candidate for a player like Howard, given his success under his former head coach, Brian Flores. Wherever Bill Belichick lands, he’ll need a player like Howard, a veteran who can contribute to a winning team in the right scheme.
Meanwhile, Cam Smith was taken in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft as an insurance policy. The 6’1”, 180-pound corner took a bit of a redshirt year as a special teams player who learned from two of the best in the NFL: Howard and Jalen Ramsey. Vic Fangio’s defense is the ideal fit for the long, athletic press corner who excels in man coverage, but he can also play zone. His time as a starter will likely happen at the expense of Xavien Howard being traded or cut.