Dolphins’ CB Xavien Howard To Hold Out

Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard wasn’t on hand for the early portion of Tuesday’s mandatory minicamp (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Cameron Wolfe). Meanwhile, head coach Brian Flores told reporters that he’s not sure if Howard will show up at any point during minicamp. If he continues to keep his distance, the Dolphins can fine him ~$93K for each of the three days he’s absent. 

Howard wants a new or revised deal, but he still has four years left on his five-year, $76MM extension. This year, he’s slated to make $12.1MM in base salary with a $13.5MM cap hit. In terms of earnings for this year, that puts him fifth at the position behind Stephon Gilmore, teammate Byron Jones, Trae Waynes, and Joe Haden. Howard may be particularly irked about being stationed behind Jones in ’21 compensation.

The Dolphins signed veteran cornerback Jason McCourty in May, which could provide insurance in the event of a standoff. Of course, the 33-year-old wouldn’t be a one-for-one replacement. Last year, Pro Football Focus placed McCourty of the top 75 at CB. Meanwhile, Howard was a first-team All-Pro in 2020 and a candidate for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

Howard, 28 in July, pushed the Dolphins to trade him last year. The Dolphins obliged to some extent, but scared clubs off with a “Laremy Tunsil type” asking price.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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