Indianapolis Colts Named Best Fit For Former All-Pro Cornerback

Indianapolis Colts
NFL Analysis Network

The Indianapolis Colts could certainly use some help at cornerback, and Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports sees a perfect fit for the club: former Miami Dolphins star Xavien Howard.

Howard was released by the Dolphins back in March and has yet to find a home.

The veteran is coming off of a 2023 campaign in which he played 13 games and registered 45 tackles, an interception and 12 passes defended.

Howard definitely showed signs of a decline last season, but it’s not like he was terrible, so the fact that he remains unsigned is definitely strange.

Of course, his price tag could be a bit high, or perhaps he is merely waiting for the perfect situation.

The 30-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Baylor, was selected by Miami in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Between 2018 and 2022, Howard made four trips to the Pro Bowl, leading the league in interceptions twice. He topped out at 10 picks in 2020 while also racking up 51 tackles, a forced fumble and an NFL-best 20 passes defended en route to a Pro Bowl appearance and a First-Team All-Pro selection. He also finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting that year.

Had it not been for Howard missing most of the season in 2019, he probably would have notched five consecutive Pro Bowl nods during that stretch.

The Colts are currently employing JuJu Brents, Dallis Flowers and Kenny Moore at cornerback, with Moore playing a nickelback role.

Indianapolis ranked 16th in passing defense this past season, so it’s not like the club was a terrible against the aerial attack in 2023. It was simply smack dab in the middle of the league.

But there is also no question that Indy can use some improvement in that area.

Howard may very well be the best cornerback remaining on the free-agent market, so it would certainly behoove the Colts to place a call to him.

Indianapolis went 9-8 this past year, just missing the playoffs. It lost to the Houston Texans in a winner-take-all game for the AFC South division title in Week 18.

The Colts will have Anthony Richardson back under center in 2024 after the youngster missed all but four games during his rookie campaign. He had a concussion early in the season and then suffered a shoulder injury that would ultimately require surgery.

We’ll see if Indianapolis can make some noise next season, and if Howard is a part of it.

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