Xavien Howard's legacy will be a debate as it relates to the Ring of Honor and Walk of Fame

The Miami Dolphins will part ways officially with Xavien Howard when free agency begins on March 13th. There is already a debate about his future in Dolphins history.

Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins
Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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Whether you are a Miami Dolphins fan who believes Xavien Howard is one of the best cornerbacks in team history or not, he will be hard to replace.

When Howard officially leaves the Dolphins, he will take with him one of the most impressive seasons a Dolphins CB has ever had. In 2020, Howard was both a starting Pro Bowl CB but also a First Team All Pro. He was also in the annual Defensive MVP discussion.

Howard's 2020 season produced 10 interceptions, 20 passes defensed, and 51 combined tackles. Now, with him leaving Miami, the question is whether or not he will eventually take his place among the Dolphins legends.

In Miami, there are two places where former players are honored, the Walk of Fame, an area outside of Hard Rock Stadium similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not every payer on the WoF is on the Honor Roll.

The Honor Roll, however, consists of the best of the best. The Hall of Fame players. Where will Howard end up?

On the Walk of Fame, only CB Sam Madison is honored. On the Honor Roll, the list of names that surround the stadium bowl, no cornerbacks have made it. It is safe to say that Howard will not be the first.

The only player we can compare Howard to is Sam Madison. Has he done enough to take his place eventually on the Walk of Fame?

Both players are similar and we should only compare what Howard and Madison have done in a Dolphins uniform.

Number of games played for the Dolphins

Madison played 127 games for the Miami Dolphins spanning 9 seasons. Howard played 100 games for the Dolphins in his 8 seasons.

Interceptions

  • Madison - 31
  • Howard - 29

Tackles

  • Madison - 366
  • Howard 331

Awards

  • Madison - 4 Pro Bowl's, 2 First Team All Pro's
  • Howard - 4 Pro Bowls, 1 First Team All Pro

Touchdowns and force fumbles

  • Howard - 2 and 4 FF
  • Madison - 2 and 9 FF

Starts vs. Games played

  • Madison - 127 of 138 games
  • Howard - 99 of 100 games

Both players are almost identical and it would be interesting to see what the numbers would have looked like had they both played the same amount of years with the Dolphins.

What will work against Howard making the Walk of Fame.

If there is a knock on Howard, it is the fact that he has only two really good seasons with the Dolphins. In 2020 we know he had his best career season and in 2018 he posted a 7 interception season. Over the course of his career, he also had four seasons with only one interception but did have a four and a five INT season in the other two.

In his nine seasons with Miami, Madison had three seasons with less than three interceptions.

Another factor that could play into his WoF honor is the Byron Jones incident. Howard staged a quasi-holdout over Jones getting more money than he was given with his contract extension. It wasn't a good look and Chris Grier had to renegotiate a contract a year removed to make Howard happy. It shouldn't be a big problem but it isn't something that works in his favor.

The singular reason above all else that will work in Xavien Howard's favor.

Stephen Ross will work in his favor. The Miami Dolphins owner doesn't have a lot of wins under his belt. Ross started the Walk of Fame in 2011. Since becoming the owner of the Dolphins in 2008, he has yet to induct a player onto the Walk of Fame or the Honor Roll who was drafted or played significantly under his reign as the owner. Jason Taylor played two seasons under Ross, 2009 and 2011.

Sadly, since 2008, there haven't been many players that the Dolphins have drafted who would be worthy of a Walk of Fame honor. Miami has not inducted a player into the Honor Roll since 2014 when Manny Fernandez was added. No one has been added to the WoF since 2008. That too could bode well for Howard, eventually.

Since the 2008 season when Ross took over ownership, Howard has been the most productive draft pick in the Ross era. Mike Pouncey could also have a case, drafted in 2011, holding Pouncey back would be his short stint with Miami of only four seasons.

Does Xavien Howard belong on the Miami Dolphins Walk of Fame?

This will come down to personal debate. I think if he is, it could go two ways. Within the first five years of his retirement, whenever that happens, or 10 years. I think Ross would love to see one of "his" players make the WoF and I think Howard gives him the only option.

I don't believe he should be a lock though. Howard was inconsistent from season to season and I think that should play into it. The WoF is supposed to be a huge honor that is just below the Honor Roll where the elite players in Dolphins history belong. I don't think Howard deserves that at all but I also believe that there are plenty of former players pre-dating Ross that deserve to be on the WoF before Howard is added.

What are your thoughts on Howard's future on the Dolphins Walk of Fame?

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