Monday, April 15, 2024
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Dolphins’ Jalen Ramsey says exiting Xavien Howard is Miami’s ‘greatest’ CB, takes apparent shot at Vic Fangio

The Miami Dolphins‘ decision to release four-time Pro Bowl and 2020 First-Team All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard makes dollars and sense when it comes to the salary cap. 

The team is currently projected to be $24.8 million over the 2024 base salary cap of $255.4 million, according to OverTheCap.com. However, Howard’s eight-time Pro Bowl defensive backfield teammate of one season, Jalen Ramsey, is taken aback by the move and the idea of not sharing the Dolphins secondary with Howard in 2024. 

“Shid be crazy how stuff plays out sometimes but 1 thing ikno fa sho is that it was an honor teaming up with the GREATEST corner in MiamiDolphins History in my opinion…” Ramsey tweeted Friday. “(I won’t ever forgive dude for not utilizing our full skillset!)”

The “dude” in question in Ramsey’s tweet is likely Vic Fangio, the Dolphins defensive coordinator in 2023. Fangio is famous for pioneering the two-deep safety look as a primary defensive formation to combat the way sophisticated passing offenses have taken hold of the NFL across the last 10-15 years. Miami ran zone coverage on 72.4% of its plays last season. 

From 2018-2022, Howard’s five-season run in which he made either a Pro Bowl and/or an All-Pro team in four of those years, the Dolphins ran man coverage at the highest rate in the NFL, 45.9% of their defensive plays. Ramsey likely wishes Fangio had called for him and Howard to play more man coverage in 2023 to highlight their individual skill sets. 

Dolphins safety Jevon Holland posted an Instagram story of himself literally kicking rocks when Fangio left for the same role with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2024. Agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents 11 players with the Dolphins last season, said there were “quite a few players” who didn’t like their now-former DC. 

“There were quite a few players on the team that didn’t necessarily get along with Fangio, and so it wasn’t a great relationship with many of the players,” Rosenhaus said to Miami Fox affiliate WSVN-Channel 7. “There were some guys that loved him, but there were quite a few that didn’t.”  

As for Howard’s departure, Holland also tweeted after news of Howard set to be released, saying he will miss his homies (referencing both Howard and Emmanuel Ogbah, who is also getting released). 

Ramsey certainly has a case to label Howard, 30, the Dolphins’ “greatest” corner in the team’s history. Howard’s four Pro Bowl selections in a Dolphins uniform are tied for the second most in franchise history by a defensive back, trailing only safety Jake Scott’s five in the 1970s. 

Howard’s 29 career interceptions since 2016 when he entered the league as a second-round pick of the Dolphins (38th overall) are the second most throughout the last eight seasons behind just Denver Broncos Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons‘ 30. His peak came in 2020 when he earned his only First-Team All-Pro nod for leading the NFL in interceptions with 10. 

One thing is clear for the Miami Dolphins even though the offseason has just begun: Their defense will look a lot different in 2024. 

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