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Newly released Xavien Howard reportedly expresses interest in joining AFC playoff contender

Xavien Howard, Houston Texans
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the Miami Dolphins let it be known that Xavien Howard is set to be released once the new league year begins on March 13. Howard, a former All-Pro cornerback who’s been named to the Pro Bowl four times, will be a 30-year-old free agent.

Related: Predicting NFL playoff bracket and Super Bowl 2025 winner

Yet, as some NFL insiders have already noted, Howard is expected to receive “significant” interest on the open market. But it sounds like Howard may already have his next team in mind.

Xavien Howard may be eyeing opportunity to join Houston Texans

c.j. stroud
Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Even though he’s coming off a ‘down’ year by Xavien Howard’s standards, the eight-year veteran won’t have much trouble finding a new team, depending on his asking price.

Yet, ESPN’s DJ Bien-Aime is already hearing that Howard is interested in joining the Houston Texans this offseason. With Howard being a Houston, Texas native, the fit makes sense on paper.

In Houston, Howard would have a similar situation to the one he enjoyed in Miami, with Derek Stingley Jr. developing into one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks on one end, just like Jalen Ramsey was. At that point, it would be up to Howard to hold up his end of the bargain, helping the Texans improve a pass defense that ranked 27th in the NFL in net yards gained per pass attempt.

Yet, just because Howard is interested in playing closer to home, it remains to be seen whether the Texans have a mutual interest in the playmaking cornerback.

Related: 4 Houston Texans offseason moves to become Super Bowl contenders in 2024

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