Dolphins to Release Pro Bowl Cornerback Xavien Howard

Xavien Howard (25) of Miami Dolphins in 2018
CB Xavien Howard (25) with the Miami Dolphins in 2018. Photo by Adam Lacy/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (9917024ak)

The Miami Dolphins are set to release Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard, the team’s longest-tenured player.

Reportedly, the Dolphins will designate Howard as a post-June 1 cut, allowing them to make significant salary cap savings. The veteran was set to have a $25.9 million cap hit in 2024, but now Miami will instead save $18.5 million. They will also incur an $11.5 million dead cap in each of the next two seasons. 

The Dolphins drafted Howard in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft, and he has since established himself as one of the most productive corners in the league. He received a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2020, earned four Pro Bowl nods, and led the league in interceptions twice. His 29 interceptions since entering the league are behind only Denver Broncos’ Justin Simmons over the course of the past eight seasons.

Xavien Howard’s huge cap hit isn’t the only reason why the Dolphins are moving on from him. Howard’s production has been declining, as he only combined for two interceptions in the past two seasons. Additionally, Miami boosted its secondary last year by acquiring star corner Jalen Ramsay and drafting South Carolina’s cornerback Cam Smith in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Dolphins are expected to continue making roster moves to get financial flexibility. Shortly after Howard’s release was reported, the franchise announced it was releasing veteran linebacker Emmanuel Ogbah.