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Ex-Dolphins CB Xavien Howard: I would 'love' to play for hometown Texans

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Veteran cornerback and four-time Pro Bowler Xavien Howard is among the best remaining NFL free agents. As for his next journey, a return to Howard’s hometown of Houston to play for the Texans seems to be on the table.

“I would love to do that. Especially back at home, the crib,” Howard said about possibly playing for the Texans on the latest edition of “The OGs Podcast with Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller.” “I wouldn’t say I’ve always been a Houston Texans fan, but this offseason I’m a Houston Texans fan. I’ve had it tatted on me. I even got the Houston Rockets and the Texans [logos] tatted on me.”

Howard reiterated that the Texans are “definitely a realistic option” for him. He also said that he’d “rather take a pay cut to go to a team that’s going to go further in the playoffs.”

Concerning the teams tattooed on Howard, the Texans are coming off a 10-7 season that saw them win the AFC South and post a winning record for the first time since 2019 under first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans. Meanwhile, the Rockets, who were the 14th seed in the Western Conference at 22-60 last season, are 34-35 under new head coach Ime Udoka this season, 2.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors for the No. 10 seed in the West.

The Miami Dolphins, where Howard spent the first eight seasons of his NFL career, released him in February. Last season, Howard, who will be 31 at the start of the 2024 season, totaled one interception, 12 passes defended and 45 combined tackles across 13 games.

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He led the league with 10 interceptions in 2020 and seven interceptions in 2018.

Howard would boost a budding Texans defense that surrendered just 234.1 passing yards (23rd in the NFL), 96.6 rushing yards (sixth), 330.7 total yards (14th) and 20.8 points (11th) per game last season. He’d also join a cornerback room that includes Derek Stingley Jr. and Steven Nelson, who combined for nine interceptions in 2023.

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