Dolphins clearing cap space by releasing veterans Howard, Ogbah

MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins will release cornerback Xavien Howard, his agent David Canter confirmed Friday, as the team looks to shed salary and clear cap space.

All Dolphins was the first to report.

The Dolphins’ longest-tenured player, Howard represented a $25.9 million cap hit in 2024. Cutting him after June 1 would save Miami $18.5 million in 2024 while creating roughly $23 million in dead cap over the next two seasons.

Releasing Howard prior to June 1 would save Miami at most $2.8 million, with up to $30 million in dead cap in 2024.

Miami’s second-round pick out of Baylor in 2016, Howard is a former first-team All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler. Since 2016, only Justin Simmons has more interceptions than Howard’s 29 — although Howard has recorded just two interceptions over the past two seasons. The Dolphins’ relationship with Howard had been tumultuous over the past few seasons; the team signed cornerback Byron Jones to a five-year, $82.5 million contract in 2020 that eclipsed Howard’s, before using a first-round pick on cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.

The Dolphins and Howard agreed to a contract extension in 2022, after Howard publicly requested a trade the previous year. Miami continued to add talent to its cornerback room in 2023, trading for Jalen Ramsey and drafting Cam Smith in the second round.

Howard is not the only veteran who will not return to the Dolphins next season. The team announced it is releasing defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, two years after signing him to a four-year, $65 million contract. Ogbah signed with Miami in 2020 and posted 18 combined sacks in 2020 and 2021. However, a triceps injury limited him to just nine games in 2022.

Ogbah bounced back for 5.5 sacks last season, but his release will save the Dolphins $13.7 million in 2024.

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