(Breaking New)Chiefs Named ‘Best Fit’ to Sign Former Dolphins $90 Million Starter

Chiefs Named ‘Best Fit’ to Sign Former Dolphins $90 Million Starter

Getty Former Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard at MetLife Stadium on November 24, 2023.

The Kansas City Chiefs are doing their best to retain as many key players as possible to make a run at a Super Bowl three-peat. After re-signing Chris Jones to a five-year, $158.57 million extension, however, L’Jarius Sneed‘s future remains unclear.

If Sneed exits, ESPN insider Bill Barnwell urged the Chiefs to sign former Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard as his replacement.

Howard, who signed a five-year $90 million contract with the Dolphins, is a free agent after becoming a cap casualty. With a post-June 1 release, the Dolphins, who entered free agency approximately $51 million over the cap limit, saved $18.5 million.

Barnwell ranked Howard as one of the Top 10 best free agents still available on Wednesday, March 20. He also named the Chiefs the “best fit” to sign the four-time Pro Bowler.

“I keep coming back to the Chiefs, who typically prefer younger cornerbacks but have a habit of signing overlooked playmakers in that spot,” Barnwell wrote. “Howard’s ability to hold up in man coverage and create takeaways are skills that should appeal to them.

“This is less of a fit if L’Jarius Sneed comes back for 2024, but if the Chiefs trade their franchise-tagged cornerback, Howard could be one of the additions general manager Brett Veach makes to replace his top coverage guy from last season.”

After Refusing a Pay Cut With Miami, Xavien Howard Is Open To Taking Less Money to Join a Super Bowl Contender

📲 Xavien Howard posted the following video on his Instagram story:

“Sometimes you gotta leave. Sometimes you have to go away from home in order to be truly valued and appreciated.” #FinsUp

Amid rumors Howard could become a cap casualty in January, the Dolphins’ second-round pick from the 2016 NFL draft was pretty clear about not taking a pay cut. “My eight years here, I loved it. And whatever happens, I’m with it,” he said, per USA Today’s Safid Dean.

Dean noted, “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.” However, the veteran was singing a very different tune during an appearance on “The OGs” podcast, which premiered on March 19.

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

“My goal is always 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, but I want to win a Super Bowl now. I’ve already (been) paid, but now (a Super Bowl is) what I’m looking forward to.”

Chiefs News: Xavien Howard’s Age & Injury Could Make Him an Affordable Addition

Due to his age, he turns 31 in July, and his injury history, most notably a broken foot that ended his 2023 season early, Howard remains available. And based on his comments, he sounds open to an affordable deal if it meant joining a team that just won back-to-back Super Bowls.

Barnwell believes former Dolphins defensive coordinator Viv Fangio’s misuse of cornerbacks added to Howard’s down year in 2023. “Howard is at his best in a scheme that both plays a lot of man and allows him to travel in coverage, although teams will want to see whether he keeps his quickness after recovering from the foot injury,” Barnwell wrote.

Perhaps, working under Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo could allow Howard to return to All-Pro form.

“Howard’s ball skills haven’t disappeared, but people have forgotten he once posted one of the most impressive takeaway seasons ever, with a 10-interception campaign in 2020. We know interception rates can be random from year to year, even for guys with Howard’s sort of résumé, so this could be a chance to add a player who can turn games in his team’s favor with an interception.”

Last season, Howard recorded 45 total tackles, 12 passes defensed, and 1 interception in 13 games. Before that, earned three straight Pro Bowl honors and was third runner-up for the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2020.