The Miami Dolphins Part Ways with Xavien Howard and Emmanuel Ogbah

The Miami Dolphins have made the decision to release cornerback Xavien Howard, according to his agent David Canter. This move comes as part of the team’s efforts to trim their budget and create more room under the salary cap. Howard, who has been with the Dolphins the longest, carried a hefty $25.9 million cap hit for the 2024 season. By cutting him after June 1, the team stands to save $18.5 million in 2024, but they will also incur about $23 million in dead cap over the next two years. If Howard had been released before June 1, the savings for Miami would have been significantly lower at a maximum of $2.8 million, with up to $30 million in dead cap in 2024.

A standout second-round pick from Baylor in 2016, Howard quickly made a name for himself in the league. He earned first-team All-Pro honors and has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times. Despite recording an impressive 29 interceptions since 2016, Howard’s production dipped in the last two seasons with just two interceptions. The relationship between Howard and the Dolphins had been strained in recent years, especially following the signing of cornerback Byron Jones to a lucrative contract in 2020 and the drafting of Noah Igbinoghene in the first round. The team further bolstered their cornerback position by acquiring Jalen Ramsey and drafting Cam Smith in 2023.

In addition to parting ways with Xavien Howard, the Dolphins have also announced the release of defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. Ogbah, who signed a four-year, $65 million contract with the team in 2020, had a solid tenure with Miami, recording 18 combined sacks in 2020 and 2021. However, his 2022 season was marred by a triceps injury that limited him to just nine games. Despite bouncing back with 5.5 sacks last season, the Dolphins have opted to move on from Ogbah, which will save them $13.7 million in 2024.

The departure of Xavien Howard and Emmanuel Ogbah signals a shift in the Dolphins’ roster strategy as they aim to create cap flexibility and infuse new talent into the team. The moves will allow Miami to explore other options in free agency and the upcoming draft to address key positions and build for the future. While Howard and Ogbah made significant contributions to the team during their time in Miami, the organization sees this as a necessary step in their ongoing efforts to compete at the highest level in the NFL.

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