Xavien Howard says Noah Igbinoghene is ‘locked in’ with a different mindset

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Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard revealed that former first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene is “locked in” this spring and has a different mindset.

That should be good news for the Dolphins, as Igbinoghene’s career has been a bit of a disappointment to this point.

The Auburn University product has appeared in 32 games across three seasons, making just five starts. Igbinoghene has recorded 29 total tackles, five passes defended and two fumble recoveries in his NFL career.

That’s not exactly what the Dolphins expected when they took him with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Miami certainly isn’t making things easy on the corner either, as it brought in more competition this offseason by trading for Jalen Ramsey and selecting Cam Smith in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Even with Byron Jones sidelined due to injury in the 2022 campaign, Igbinoghene appeared in just nine games, making two starts. On the bright side, he did record his first NFL interception.

Playing alongside Howard and Ramsey should help the young corner, as they are two of the best players at the position in the game.

Miami knew that it needed to address its secondary after finishing 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed last season.

Igbinoghene is in the final season of his rookie contract, as Miami declined to exercise his fifth-year option. That means he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

There’s no guarantee that Igbinoghene will have a major role for the Dolphins this season, so hopefully he is coming into the team’s offseason programs hungry to prove that he deserves playing time.

After taking Smith in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, it’s possible that the Dolphins might prioritize getting the rookie more reps since there’s a chance he’s with the team for several more seasons. That could create direct competition with Igbinoghene.

Miami is hoping that it can improve on defense with Ramsey now in the fold to make another playoff run in the 2023 season. The Dolphins finished with a 9-8 record in the 2022 campaign, losing to the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the playoffs.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.