Why Xavien Howard Is the Perfect Fit for the Lions’ Defensive Revamp

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Last season, the Detroit Lions had an outstanding performance, winning an impressive 12 regular-season games. 

This remarkable achievement led them to secure their first division title since 1993 and make their second appearance in the NFC Championship Game.

With a determined mindset in place, the Lions should be exploring all possibilities to enhance their performance. 

One of their top remaining options is free-agent cornerback Xavien Howard, a standout from the Miami Dolphins.

At just 30 years old, Howard boasts an impressive résumé with four Pro Bowl appearances, one All-Pro selection, and a notable third-place finish in the Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2020.

Howard is coming off what many consider to be one of the best seasons of his career. In 2023, he had an impressive performance, allowing only 39 completions for 419 yards and a career-low one touchdown. 

According to Pro Football Reference, he maintained a solid 81.3 passer rating on 62 targets.

Potential Landing Spots for Howard: Lions, Chiefs, Texans

Why-Xavien-Howard-Is-the-Perfect-Fit-for-the-Lions'-Defensive-Revamp
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 07: Xavien Howard #25 of the Miami Dolphins looks on during the second half of the game against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium on January 07, 2024 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Gary Davenport, a writer for Bleacher Report, recently highlighted the Lions, Chiefs, and Texans as potential landing spots for Howard. 

He emphasized that Howard would greatly enhance the Detroit secondary, which is in need of an upgrade.

In accordance with NFL.com, the Lions had a less than stellar performance in 2023. 

They allowed the fourth-highest number of passing yards in the league, with a total of 4,562. 

Additionally, they gave up the sixth-most touchdowns, with a total of 28. Their defense also struggled in terms of yards per attempt, allowing an average of 7.8 yards. 

Furthermore, the Lions allowed the most passes of 20+ yards, with a total of 69. Those numbers are not up to par for a team aspiring to compete in its inaugural Super Bowl.

After the recent release of cornerback Cameron Sutton, it is evident that Detroit is in need of assistance in the secondary. 

It’s a position the front office is looking to revamp, evidenced by their recent acquisition of cornerback Carlton Davis lll from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2024.

It’s unlikely that Howard’s market value is anywhere near what he was set to earn with the Dolphins before being released ($25.9 million cap hit, according to Spotrac). 

If Detroit could attract him for a lower price, it should seize the opportunity.

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