Vikings Named Potential Landing Spot for Dolphins All-Pro, 10-INT CB

The Miami Dolphins released Xavien Howard this offseason, designating him with a post-June 1 release. Howard, who had 10 interceptions in 2020, is a four-time Pro Bowl selection and earned two All-Pro selections. One of the top remaining free agents on the market, David Kenyon of Bleacher Report listed the Minnesota Vikings as a potential landing spot for the 30-year-old.

“An expensive cap sheet caught up to the Miami Dolphins this offseason, forcing them to part with a handful of starting defenders,” Kenyon wrote in his April 28 article listing the top 10 available free agents after the NFL draft. “Several players left in free agency, but they released cornerback Xavien Howard as a cap casualty. By designating him as a post-June 1 release, Miami saved $18.5 million in cap space this year.

“Howard was fully cleared for football activities on the Wednesday before the draft, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. With the draft now over, teams will likely begin reaching out to him soon… The same goes for the Minnesota Vikings, whose defensive coordinator is former Miami head coach Brian Flores.”

Howard’s coming off a season filled with injuries, appearing in 13 games. He’s also posted just one interception in the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Xavien Howard Has ‘Respect’ for Brian Flores

Brian Flores, the Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator, served as Howard’s head coach from the 2019-2021 seasons. The former Miami Dolphins coach would bring familiarity to Howard, giving him a reason to want to play for the Vikings.

Howard’s best seasons came under Flores, finishing with 10 interceptions in 2020 and five in 2021. Howard spoke about the Vikings coach on March 19, saying he has “respect” for him.

“Brian Flores was like that,” Howard said on “The OGs” podcast. “He gets all of the this and that in the media, but he was a player’s coach guy. It was like, he came from the Patriots, so he’s seen greatness from the G.O.A.T. It’s his standard how he holds guys around, our team, the Dolphins at the time, he held everybody to a standard. Me and Flores probably weren’t buddy-buddy, this and that, but I respect him.”

Former Dolphins Star Now Open to Pay Cut

Howard was asked about taking a pay cut from the Miami Dolphins on January 15. In response, the veteran asked, “Would you?”

#Dolphins CB Xavien Howard says “My eight years here, I loved it. And whatever happens, I’m with it.”

Howard asked if he’d take a pay cut asks if your boss asked you to take a cut, would you? Don’t blame him lol

— Safid Deen 💯💯💯💯 (@Safid_Deen) January 15, 2024

However, during the appearance on “The OGs” podcast, Howard said he’d be willing to take a pay cut this offseason if it gives him an opportunity to win.

“I’d rather take a pay cut to go to a team that’s going to go further in the playoffs,” Howard said. “I got my money and stuff like that. I’m to the point, like, ‘How much money do you really need?’

“My goal is always to try to win a Super Bowl. Don’t let the money get in the way of winning a Super Bowl. Some people get paid, and some people win a Super Bowl,” Howard said on March 19. “Some people do both. You do both, you’re different. I want to be different. I want to win a Super Bowl now. I already got paid, so now a Super Bowl is what I’m looking forward to.”

The Minnesota Vikings will have a rookie quarterback in J.J. McCarthy, which would go against what Howard said. No rookie quarterback has ever won a Super Bowl.

 

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