Oct 29, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) looks on prior to the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Commanders Could Poach All-Pro Talent From Serious AFC Contender

The Washington Commanders underwent some major changes already this offseason. Under new ownership, the team had a regime change at the end of the 2023 regular season missing the playoffs again.

Adam Peters was hired away from the San Francisco 49ers to run the front office as general manager and the team hired Dan Quinn, most recently the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, to become head coach. That tandem will be looking to get the Commanders back on track sooner rather than later.

The 2024 NFL Draft will present them with a chance to select their quarterback of the future, as Washington is slated to pick second. Finding a quarterback is of the utmost importance, but several holes on this roster need to be plugged.

NFL NEWS & RUMORS: Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins, Washington Commanders Updates

Arguably, the team is in worse shape on the defensive side of the ball, which could explain the Quinn hiring. Bringing in a defensive-minded head coach is hard to argue against when a team is coming off a season in which they ranked last in points allowed and passing yardage allowed in 2023.

It was a shockingly poor performance by the Commanders, who had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2022. Things didn’t get any better for the team once they began trading away established players ahead of the deadline, focusing on the future and collecting assets.

Who could Washington look to bring in to start turning things around? Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report provided a name to keep an eye on; Xavien Howard of the Miami Dolphins. Howard could be a cap casualty in Miami, as they are way over the salary cap and designating him as a post-June 1st cut would save the team $14.5 million.

“The Commanders, who ranked last in passing yards allowed last season, could also be interested in Howard if he’s available. New head coach Dan Quinn has a defensive background, and he should quickly recognize that Washington doesn’t have the defensive talent to compete in the NFC East.”

To return to Miami, Howard would have to take a sizable pay cut so the team can get their salary cap situation in check. Based on the comments he made, it doesn’t sound like that is something Howard is going to be willing to do.

NFL NEWS & RUMORS: Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins, Washington Commanders Updates

Howard has loved being in Miami, but there is a real chance he will move on this offseason. Should he hit the open market, the Commanders, who are loaded with cap space, could make an aggressive offer to him as the first piece to revamp their secondary.

The former All-Pro showed his age a little during the season, dealing with a series of injuries. He also failed to make the Pro Bowl team for the first time since 2019, playing in only 13 games. Despite those risks, Howard would represent a massive upgrade for the Commanders at cornerback.

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