Xavien Howard, Emmanuel Ogbah glad Dolphins kept defense intact; excited for new offense under Mike McDaniel


Much of the hype surrounding the Miami Dolphins’ offseason has been centered around the improvements made to the offense, but nearly as important was the way the team maintained continuity on its defense.

Cornerback Xavien Howard got the lucrative contract extension he was seeking, and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, minutes before free agency negotiations were set to begin on March 14, reached an agreement to stay with the Dolphins before other teams could make their offers.

“I was glad we took care of our own,” Ogbah said Wednesday as both he and Howard spoke publicly for the first time since signing their deals.

Howard and the Dolphins came a long way from his displeasure with his contract last offseason that even reached the level of him requesting a trade in training camp ahead of the 2021 season. Now, after earning $50,691,177 in new money as part of a restructure agreed to on Friday night, the three-time Pro Bowl and one-time All-Pro selection has his long-term goals occurring in Miami.

“I’m just excited to be a Dolphin, continue to play here, hopefully retire here and win a Super Bowl here, too,” said Howard, who also cited the Hall of Fame as an aspiration after starting his career with 27 interceptions in his first six NFL seasons.

Howard’s extension puts him under contract with the Dolphins through 2026, with a potential out in 2024. Over the next two seasons, Howard will earn more than any other cornerback in the NFL.

“They did everything we asked, and both sides were happy with everything that panned out,” he said.

Ogbah signed a four-year, $65 million deal when he was on the verge of hitting the open market.

“I’ve always looked at myself as being here long-term. I’m glad we made it happen,” Ogbah said. “I wouldn’t say I thought it was doubtful [a deal would get done]. I felt like we had a chance to make something work. For them to come like that, it showed they believed in me and wanted me here.”

With Howard as the ballhawk cornerback known to force turnovers in the secondary and Ogbah as the all-around defensive end that has posted nine sacks each of his two seasons in Miami while also batting passes at the line of scrimmage at a high rate, two cornerstones to the Dolphins’ defensive success the second half of the 2021 season remain in place.

They can complement each other with pass rush inducing interceptions and strong coverage leading to sacks.

“It goes hand in hand,” Ogbah said. “I know, if I don’t get there fast enough, X is going to be back there waiting for the ball to come out. The faster I get back there, the faster I put stress on the quarterback, so it gives X a chance to get that pick.”

They also have top-notch competition to go up against in practice now. Howard can sharpen his coverage skills lining up against speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill, and Ogbah …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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