Xavien Howard Wants New Contract

Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard just earned the second Pro Bowl bid of his career and is in the running for Defensive Player of the Year honors. He also wants a new contract.

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Howard’s camp will ask the team to renegotiate the five-year, $75MM contract that Howard signed with the ‘Fins in 2019. Although the contract made Howard the highest-paid CB in the league at the time, he is now the sixth-highest-paid corner, one spot behind teammate Byron Jones and his $16.5MM average annual value. Plus, Jones’ $46MM in full guarantees dwarfs Howard’s $27.2MM, and Howard is looking to strike while the iron is hot.

The 27-year-old is leading the league in interceptions this season (nine), and while he was limited to just five games in 2019, he also led the league in picks in 2018 (despite playing in just 12 games that year). Pro Football Focus considers him the best corner in football this season, with a stellar 90.0 grade in coverage.

From that standpoint, it’s easy to see why Howard is looking for a contract more akin to the market-topping five year, $105MM pact ($71.2MM fully guaranteed) that Jalen Ramsey recently pulled down from the Rams. But that’s the nature of the beast, particularly at a premium position like CB. One player sets the market and another player comes along, sometimes hours later, and resets it. But the first player generally doesn’t get another bite at the apple with four years left on his existing contract, and Howard is under club control through 2024.

That said, Miami knows what it has in Howard, and Salguero says it’s possible the team tries to appease him. It’s currently unclear if the Dolphins even know about Howard’s intentions at this point, and while they certainly don’t want to set a precedent by renegotiating a deal that has so much time remaining, Howard is obviously a game-changing talent.

The ‘Fins did field trade calls for Howard before this year’s deadline, but they put an enormous price tag on him. If negotiations go awry, they could theoretically look to deal him and would have no issue finding suitors, but they appear to be a team on the rise and surely don’t want to lose their best defensive player when they hope to be contending for titles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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15 comments on “Xavien Howard Wants New Contract

  1. gene95988

    He signed a contract which made him the number one cb in the league 2 years ago. By giving into his demands, more problems lurk down the road.
    Play out your contract, dude!

    • meiertj

      Owners can cut guys that have time remaining on their contract…so they obviously aren’t honoring the contract. It goes both ways.

      • crb15

        Players DO have the ability to negotiate a fully guaranteed contract if they want to, a la Kirk Cousins. It is on them to get as much guaranteed money into the contract, not the owner. The owners try to get as little as possible in guarantees, that way if a player tanks they don’t lose out on the money. It is not the owners fault if they put a big number out there (example: 5yr-$100 million, but only $20 million guaranteed) and the player only looks at what the contract COULD be. The NFLs contract are all about the guaranteed money and how it is doled out (ie front heavy, evenly, back loaded).

        • Patrick N.

          Cousins is an exception not a rule. As evident by nearly every other contract ever not fully being guaranteed.

          • crb15

            I didn’t say Cousins contract was a rule, but it does clearly show that players do have the option of a fully guaranteed contract. The fact that other players have not utilized that option or have poorly negotiated the fully guaranteed portion of their contract is completely on them, not the owners.

      • M Haworth

        Out of context statement Meiertj. They can cut them, absolutely, but they can’t ignore the terms of the deal.

  2. bigeasye

    This is ridiculous. Unless they give him more guarantees but less overall money this is a joke. It’s not like he’s in the final year of his contract and he’s asking for an extension

  3. Ak185

    Does he just not know contracts work? He just negotiated this last season. This isn’t someone lagging behind on the last or second to last year of an old deal. Asking for bumps every time you play well begs the possibility of how much money to take when you play poorly.

  4. crosseyedlemon

    Dolphins are spending about 23% of their cap total on their secondary and 29% on the entire offense. Seems a bit out of balance to me.

  5. M Haworth

    Great player but no way I’d renegotiate with three years left on a contract that was the largest for his position at the time. Maybe after 2021 season or even 202w if you don’t want to set a precedent

  6. At least give the Dolphins a third year before starting up with this crap, please. He got paid in full last year for playing in five games. This year evens it out.
    After next season I’d renegotiate his deal and trade Byron Jones. Good cover guy but a zero INT guy. He may get a pick or three but they’re either thrown right into his chest or caught off of a deflection. Way more replaceable than Howard.
    However, if Howard makes it clear that he will hold out, trade him. It would be lovely if a really lousy team was willing to pay price for him. See how he does then. If he plays hardball, he’s a selfish, thankless SOB.
    Above and beyond addressing this future possibility, let me make it very clear that I love, love, love X. Man do I love him. I just hope he values his team and all that his coaches and teammates do to give him the opportunities he gets.

  7. Billybill

    This story sounds like fake news. ” It’s currently unclear if the Dolphins know his intentions.” This headline is no better than click bait as there is 0 evidence to support it currently.

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