Miami Dolphins GM adds new twist to Xavien Howard situation with recent comments

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Although the Miami Dolphins reportedly plan to release Xavien Howard at the start of the new league year, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier revealed that there’s a chance the 30-year-old stays in Miami.

News of Miami’s plan to release Howard leaked last week. It was a move that many saw coming due to the Dolphins’ cap situation. Miami is currently over the cap by a little less than $30 million.

It seems like the Dolphins are allowing Howard to test the market while maintaining some interest in bringing him back. One has to imagine that if the four-time Pro Bowler were to remain with the Dolphins, he’d have to take a hefty pay cut.

Bringing Howard back won’t be easy, however, as some potential suitors have already been named.

Despite missing four regular season games and Miami’s playoff loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, Howard had a decent 2023 campaign. The addition of Jalen Ramsey undoubtedly helped take some pressure off Howard’s shoulders. The Baylor University product recorded 45 combined tackles, 12 passes defended and one interception in 13 games.

Howard and Ramsey seemingly formed a strong bond during the season, and the Florida State University product last week saluted Howard on social media while also appearing to take a swipe at Vic Fangio.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Dolphins and Howard do end up continuing their partnership. He has been with the team since it drafted him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Besides earning four Pro Bowl nods with the Dolphins, Howard has also been named All-Pro two times throughout his eight seasons in the league. He has led the NFL in interceptions twice (2018 season with seven and 2020 season with 10).

If Howard were to end up leaving the Dolphins, young defensive back Cam Smith would likely see an increase in playing time in the 2024 season.

The Dolphins selected Smith in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, but he didn’t receive much playing time in his rookie season (20 defensive snaps). He appeared to be happy when it was announced Fangio was parting ways with the team.

As the offseason wears on, Howard’s situation will be one worth monitoring closely.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who grew up most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production, and he's excited to be able to contribute to Dolphin Nation.