Wһy CB Xаvіen Howаrd Solves Detroіt Lіons Problems - Sport News

Wһy CB Xаvіen Howаrd Solves Detroіt Lіons Problems

Despite general manager Brad Holmes expressing the cornerback position is not an area of need, the Detroit Lions could still target one of the available defensive backs still available on the free agent market. One of the top options is Xavien Howard, who was recently released by the Miami Dolphins.

When discussing the value of trading for Carlton Davis at the annual league meeting, head coach Dan Campbell provided clues regarding what the team is seeking from defensive backs.

“Being able to play man is no different than being able to run the football or stop the run. It’s kind of one of our core values to be a good team,” said Campbell. “You want to be able to play man when called upon. So, yeah, this certainly will give AG (defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn) more flexibility in what to call, I believe.”

In a recent podcast appearance, the 30-year-old Howard indicated he would be willing to accept less money in order to join a playoff contender.

“I’d rather take a pay cut to go to a team that’s going to go further in the playoffs,” said Howard. “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. 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 (winning a Super Bowl) is what I’m looking forward to.”

After a stellar 2023 campaign, which featured exposure in several primetime games, free agents are more willing to join Detroit’s roster, as Campbell has cultivated a positive locker-room culture that players rave about.

“I wouldn’t mind Detroit, even though it’s a little cold out there,” Howard expressed.

Howard’s productivity dipped in 2023, as he finished the year with a Pro Football Focus coverage grade of 51.9. Opposing passers had a 62 percent completion percentage on passes targeted in his direction.

Still, he has 29 career interceptions and is a four-time Pro Bowl selection. His proven talent is appealing for a team like the Lions who are determined to win in the immediate future.

All Dolphins NFL reporter Alain Poupart shared the veteran defensive back shared why the free agent still has value for a contending team like the Detroit Lions.

“Howard has been a ball-hawking specialist since he entered the NFL as a second-round pick in the 2016 draft,” Poupart shared with All Lions. “He leads all NFL players in interceptions since 2017 with 29. He is particularly efficient in man coverage, where he often turns into a wide receiver with the ball skills to make quarterbacks play.

“He might not be the player he was in 2020 when he finished third in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting, but Howard still is a quality cornerback when healthy. The concern with him is he’s dealt with injuries the past two seasons and he’ll turn 31 on the Fourth of July. But healthy, Howard remains a top-level cornerback.”

Miami decided to release the 30-year-old in large part to due to the salary cap.

Poupart notes, “Xavien Howard was released in the offseason, not because of performance but rather because the move will save the Dolphins a little more than $18 million of cap space after June 1. While he missed four games with injuries, Howard had a better 2023 season than in 2022 when he was selected to the Pro Bowl for a fourth time (and admitted he didn’t deserve it).”

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