American Football

Could the Vikings look to reunite Brian Flores with a couple of his former players?


Dallas Cowboys v Miami Dolphins
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The temptation could be there

As we move closer to the start of free agency, the Minnesota Vikings (and the 31 other teams that aren’t nearly as important) are making preparations, including some teams that could have cap issues letting some players go. One team in particular has either bid adieu or made it clear that they intend to do so with a couple of players on the defensive side of the ball, and our favorite team could, potentially, be interested. Should they be?

The team in question is the Miami Dolphins, who current defensive coordinator Brian Flores was the head coach of for three seasons. Of the two players in question, the one that has already been released is edge defender Emmanuel Ogbah, who has been in the NFL since 2016. Ogbah joined the Dolphins in 2020, meaning Flores was his coach for two seasons. Ogbah signed a four-year extension with the Dolphins in 2022, but was released by the team a couple of days ago.

This past season, Ogbah appeared in 15 games for the Dolphins, though he got only one start. He finished the season with 5.5 quarterback sacks in limited time. He might not be a full-time player at this point, but given the Vikings’ need for pass rush help whether they keep Danielle Hunter or not he could certainly be an option.

The more intriguing news coming from Miami is that the team has informed cornerback Xavien Howard that he will be released. The Dolphins will designate Howard as a post-1 June cut, meaning that they will get a larger amount of salary cap relief but they won’t get that relief until 1 June, so they will have to carry the additional cap hit until that point.

Howard has spent his entire career with Miami since he was drafted in 2016. He’s led the NFL in interceptions twice (2018 and 2020), but over the past two seasons has tallied just two picks. Some of that can, apparently, be attributed to the sort of scheme the Dolphins have been running on defense.

Howard seems to be the sort of man-press cornerback that Flores would love to have in his defensive backfield to pair with the high-pressure fronts he likes to run. He still appears to be a capable player, but his cap hit was just getting too high for the Dolphins so they chose to part ways with him.

Obviously we won’t know how much interest the Vikings have in Howard for a while yet, since he hasn’t formally been released, though they could start talking with Ogbah whenever they’d like.

Do you think the Vikings should be interested in either or both of these players in free agency?

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