Players who would make Saints Super Bowl-ready – No. 2: Xavien Howard
The Richard Sherman train left the station long ago, but another could be due. Jump on the Xavien Howard bandwagon, Saints fans. Or at the very least, entertain the idea. This blockbuster move could demolish the offseason.
Ever since losing Janoris Jenkins, the Saints have been on the prowl for a veteran cornerback to play alongside Marshon Lattimore. They thought they saw something in Sherman and Dre Kirkpatrick, but recent news of Xavien Howard’s potential market availability changes everything. If Howard ends up falling out with the Dolphins, New Orleans can be there to catch him and offer Miami the best trade package they can muster.
Howard’s five-year career on the Dolphins has elevated his stock as one of the best ball-hawks around. Over 56 NFL games, Howard has 22 interceptions, 55 passes defended, two forced fumbles, 191 combined tackles, and one touchdown. Last season, Howard’s 10 interceptions led the league and had many fans clamoring for the X-man to win Defensive Player of the Year.
This offseason, Howard joins veteran Patriot corner Stephon Gilmore in the “unhappy camper” group, as both have expressed discontent about their current contracts. The Saints can barely fit Howard’s $12 million dollar contract thanks to freed up cap space from Ryan Ramczyk’s new extension, but remember, Howard wants an entirely new contract along with a pay raise.
This is where New Orleans will have to get creative in restructuring deals with Howard and the Dolphins. It’s likely Miami will want at least a first-round pick in return, and the Saints need to ask themselves if this is really worth it.
For winning the Super Bowl in 2021? Absolutely.
A blistering corner duo of Lattimore and Howard would squash any deep threat offense, and on top of that, the Saints can groom rookie Paulson Adebo to replace the streaky Lattimore in 2022. A plan and a backup plan. You can’t ask for much else when it comes to positional depth.
With training camp quickly approaching, expect decisions to be made about Howard’s future with Miami. The Saints should be ready to pounce.