USA Today

Xavien Howard apparently has his next team picked out. Howard, a four-time Pro Bowl cornerback who was recently released by the Dolphins, is interested in joining forces with the Texans, according to ESPN

Along with his talent, Howard would bring a veteran presence to a mostly young but talented Texans defense the played an integral role in Houston's unexpected playoff appearance last season. Led by first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans, Houston's defense finished 11th in the NFL in points allowed, first in fewest touchdown passes allowed, sixth in rushing yards allowed and fifth in third down efficiency. 

Houston's defense, led by Jonathan Greenard, Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson, linebackers Blake Cashman and Christian Harris and cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., scored just as many points as the Browns' offense during Houston's 31-point win over the Browns on Super Wild Card Weekend. The Texans limited Lamar Jackson and the Ravens' offense to just 10 points in the first half of their eventual loss in the divisional round. 

One would expect that the Texans would be interested in Howard, who picked off one pass and broke up a dozen more in 13 games last season. Money may ultimately be the determining factor in whether or not this comes to fruition. 

Howard's market will be interesting to follow. While he was a Pro Bowler each of the previous three years, Howard dealt with several injuries that led to him missing time in 2023. Howard was inactive during Miami's loss to the Chiefs on Super Wild Card Weekend. Howard's age (he'll be 31 in July) may also hinder his market value. 

It only takes one team, however, to make Howard an offer he can't refuse while forcing other interested teams to up the ante. We'll see where the Texans fit in this equation, if at all.