A CB with Familiarity Is Available for Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings need help in a couple of key positions on the roster when turning the page toward 2024. If they address the cornerback room with veterans, finding a fit with a former Brian Flores understudy could make some sense.

A CB with Familiarity Is Available for Vikings

While plenty of the focus remains on what happens with Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, and Danielle Hunter this offseason, Kevin O’Connell needs some help at the cornerback position. Byron Murphy Jr. is the only real veteran contributor, and the youth behind him has shown varying degrees of promise. Whether Andrew Booth Jr., Akayleb Evans, or Mekhi Blackmon continue to develop remains to be seen, but there has to be more depth infused into the position.

CB with Familiarity
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Enter Xavien Howard.

Howard has played his entire eight-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, and he has started every game he has played except for one. With 100 games at the highest level now under his belt, he’s plenty used to what it takes to find success in the league.

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In two full seasons for Brian Flores, Howard was twice named as a Pro Bowl selection and came in third for Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2020. He was also named as a First Team All-Pro that season.

Howard has put up some gaudy interceptions and passes-defended numbers throughout his career. He is beyond impressive in coverage and uses his frame to lock down opposing wide receivers well. Pairing with Murphy in Minnesota could give the Vikings two options with leadership qualities, and the expectations placed on the rest of the younger group would be somewhat muted.

Just Give Brian Flores
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

We won’t know the plan for Minnesota in free agency for at least a couple more weeks, but allowing a solid defensive coordinator to explore some familiar faces makes a good deal of sense.


Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.

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