Xavien Howard

Dolphins CB Xavien Howard Arrested For Domestic Violence

Dolphins star corner Xavien Howard was arrested last night on charges of domestic battery, as Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). The alleged incident involved Howard’s fiance.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald obtained a copy of the police report, which states that Howard and his fiance had an argument about the fiance’s recent purchase of a purse, which she did not tell Howard about. The argument became physical, and Howard allegedly grabbed his fiance’s arm and shoved her against a mirrored glass wall in their bedroom. Howard then let her go, and she fell to the floor on her right arm (Twitter links).

Needless to say, Howard could be facing a significant suspension and fine from the league in addition to whatever criminal penalties he may be facing. Domestic violence is an especially sensitive subject in the NFL these days, and if the allegations are true, the Dolphins can expect to be without their top CB for a few games next season.

Howard signed a five-year, $76.5MM extension with Miami back in May, following a 2018 campaign that saw him notch a league-leading seven interceptions en route to his first Pro Bowl nod. He was one of the few high-level pieces that the rebuilding Dolphins chose to keep for the long haul, though he played just five games in 2019 before being placed on IR with a knee injury.

In a statement, the Dolphins said they are aware of the situation and are gathering information but have no comment at this time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins To Place Xavien Howard On IR

There could be more big names changing teams today before the trade deadline. Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard won’t be one of them, however. 

[RELATED: Dolphins Trade For Rams’ Aqib Talib]

Howard is headed to injured reserve after suffering a knee injury on Monday night, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The good news: it’s not an ACL or MCL tear, but the Dolphins are choosing to exercise caution with the young star.

The Dolphins inked Howard to a five-year, $72.25MM extension in May, so they’re keeping their eyes on the prize. Of course, this year’s prize is the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. Beyond that, the Dolphins view Howard as a major franchise cornerstone.

In related news, the Dolphins have released tight end Nick O’Leary, hours after his ill-time drop led to a Monday night loss against the Steelers. His release leaves the ‘Fins with Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe as the team’s only TEs.

Before the injury, the Dolphins were receiving calls of trade interest on Howard. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether they would have considered moving him and, now, we may never now.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Notes: Chargers, Gordon, Howard

Some league officials have linked the Lions and Bills to Chargers star running back Melvin Gordon (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler). Both clubs could be in the market for running back help and both would make ample sense for Gordon – if the Bolts are willing to lower their asking price a bit.

The Chargers haven’t been too keen on moving Gordon, despite the drama-filled offseason and holdout that ventured into the regular season. It’s possible that he could be pried loose for the right price, however, since he’ll be out-of-contract following the 2019 season.

Through four games played, Gordon hasn’t looked like his old self: he’s got just 2.5 yards per carry, plus two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving). Last year, in 12 contests, Gordon averaged 5.1 yards per tote with 14 TDs in total.

Here’s more from around the NFL as we gear up for trade deadline day:

  • The Dolphins are getting calls about cornerback Xavien Howard, Albert Breer of The MMQB reports. Howard says he’s not seeking a trade, and the Dolphins would do well to keep the 26-year-old for future seasons, but that’s not keeping other clubs from inquiring. Thanks to the five-year extension he inked with Miami in the offseason, Howard is under contract through the 2024 season.
  • Interest in Broncos cornerback Chris Harris seems to have cooled a bit, due in part to the asking price, Troy Renck of Denver7 hears. The Eagles and Texans were among the clubs with serious interest, but the Eagles’ D has turned things around and the Texans seem to have already address their CB needs. Meanwhile, the Broncos are paper thin at cornerback, so Renck senses that they won’t consider moving him for less than a third-round choice. Harris, meanwhile, wants to finish out 2019 in Denver, where he and his wife are expecting their fourth child.
  • In case you missed it: The Redskins are now open to trading Trent Williams.

Dolphins’ Xavien Howard Not Seeking Trade

After a brutal 59-10 pummeling at the hands of the Ravens, several Dolphins players have already requested trades. However, cornerback Xavien Howard is not one of the players looking to bail, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter) hears. 

Despite their rebuilding efforts, the Dolphins have told Howard that they value him. In turn, Howard has said he wants to stay, even though this figures to be a long season for a club that has traded left tackle Laremy Tunsil and jettisoned other key veterans.

This year, the Dolphins re-upped Howard on a five year, $75.25MM extension with $27.18MM fully guaranteed at signing and $46MM in total guarantees. That is to say – Howard might not win much with the Fins in 2019, but he’ll be paid handsomely.

Things won’t get much easier from here for the Dolphins. They’ve had success against the Patriots at home, but no one is anticipating an upset win in Miami on Sunday. After that, they’ll travel to Dallas to take on one of the league’s most dangerous offenses.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Rumors: Jets, Manning, Dolphins

The Jets reportedly want to hire Peyton Manning as their next GM, but it doesn’t sound like the retired quarterback is interested in the job. The latest word on that front comes from Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, who hears from a source close to Manning that the notion of him becoming the Jets’ GM is “unrealistic” and being an NFL GM is “not a job he seems to want.”

Even though the 43-year-old doesn’t have any official front office experience, this isn’t the first time that he has been connected to a top job. In 2017, it was said that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam had interest in hiring Manning to a prominent executive role. He’s also indicated in the past that he would be open to such opportunities.

I like to listen in on any number of potential chapter two opportunities in my life,” Manning said in July of 2018. “I talked to some TV people and teams on the football side of it. I like listening, and it seems like people are reporting when I’m doing it.

Meanwhile, there’s conflicting word on whether the Jets have Manning on their radar for the GM job in the first place. Ultimately, it seems unlikely that Manning will be tapped to replace Mike Maccagnan and be the man to remove the interim GM tag from Adam Gase‘s title.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Gase says that he only wants to focus on being the Jets‘ head coach, but he fired Jets scout Bill Dekraker on Tuesday and told those around him that he wants to streamline the scouting department, Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter) hears.
  • The cap hits on cornerback Xavien Howard’s new six-year, $76.5MM deal are as follows (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald): $10.3MM this season, $13.3MM, $13.5MM, $14.4MM, $13.4MM, and $12.2MM. With his new deal, Howard is the only Dolphin under contract past 2022. But, even with that deal, the Dolphins are still in line to have more than $105MM in cap space next offseason.
  • Danny Shelton‘s deal with the Patriots is for one-year with a signing bonus of $75K, a base salary of $805K and bonuses/incentives worth up to $150K (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com). All in all, Shelton will carry a modest cap charge of just over $1MM.

Contract Details: Howard, Ansah, Calhoun

A look at the details on recent deals from around the NFL:

Dolphins Sign Xavien Howard To Extension

The Dolphins have signed cornerback Xavien Howard to a five-year extension worth $76.5MM, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Howard will collect $46MM in guarantees, per Schefter, and receive $51MM over the first three years of the deal, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link).

On both a total value and annual basis, Howard will now become the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history. His new deal with surpass that of Josh Norman, who signed a five-year, $75MM deal with the Redskins in 2016. While Howard will reportedly pocket $46MM in guarantees, those likely aren’t full guarantees. At present, Norman also holds the record for the most fully guaranteed money given to a cornerback ($36.5MM).

Miami is entering a rebuilding period, and it had been unclear whether the club wanted to extend its best defensive player in Howard, attempt to retain him via the franchise tag in 2020, or explore his trade market. Collecting assets for a shutdown cornerback may have been an option, but instead the Dolphins will keep the 25-year-old Howard around for the long haul.

Howard, the 38th overall selection in the 2016 draft, is coming off the best campaign of his three-year career. In 12 games, Howard posted a league-leading seven interceptions and graded as the NFL’s No. 19 cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. Football Outsiders, meanwhile, ranked Howard eighth in success rate, meaning he was extremely successful at stopping opposing receivers short of the sticks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins, Xavien Howard Discussing Deal

The Dolphins met with cornerback Xavien Howard to discuss a new long-term deal, according to ESPN.com’s Cameron Wolfe. Howard is set to enter the final year of his rookie deal this year, so a fresh contract could make sense for both sides.

Howard is expected to command at least $15MM annually on his next contract, but it’s unclear if Miami is willing to go that high. Some have speculated that Howard could be a trade candidate, but the Dolphins say he’s staying put.

Yes, I’m very confident that he’ll be there. Xavien has been in the building. He’s coming back, working out and getting in shape again after the Pro Bowl,” GM Chris Grier said. “He’s doing good. We’ve been hanging out around him. He wants to be a Miami Dolphin and we want him to be a Dolphin.”

If the Dolphins can’t hammer out a deal with Howard, they can wait until next year and potentially cuff him with the franchise tag. With club control beyond ’19, the Dolphins aren’t necessarily in any rush.

In a more pressing matter, the Dolphins want to hang on to right tackle Ja’Wuan James, an impending free agent. Unfortunately for Miami, things could get costly if he hits the open market.

Quality tackles are hard to come by, and Wolfe hears buzz at the combine that James could command upwards of $10MM/year. Two agents tell Wolfe that if they were representing James, they’d shoot to surpass the five-year, $47.5MM deal that Lions right tackle Rick Wagner signed two seasons ago. Beating that mark would make James the second-highest-paid right tackle in the NFL behind the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lane Johnson. The Dolphins should know more this week when they meet with James’ reps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Unlikely To Be Active In Free Agency

The Dolphins are not expected to pursue top-end free agents when the market opens in March, sources tell Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

That strategy would represent a shift under new general manager Chris Grier, who last month was promoted to replace Mike Tannenbaum as Miami’s top personnel decision-maker. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has historically been open to adding expensive free agents, but deals for players such as Ndamukong Suh, Lawrence Timmons, and others didn’t help Miami get any closer to championship contention. With Grier and presumptive head coach Brian Flores now leading the club, the Dolphins seem to be planning for a different approach.

Indeed, Miami intends to “lose enough” to receive a high pick in the 2020 draft, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Adding free agents that would help the Dolphins win in 2019 won’t fit with the club’s long-term outlook, so Miami isn’t likely to be in contention for quarterback Nick Foles or Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers, who could be linked to the Dolphins given his relationship with Flores.

Currently, the Dolphins project to have the NFL’s sixth-least amount of 2019 cap space with roughly $13.5MM in available funds. However, Miami could grow that figure to more than $56MM simply by cutting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, wide receiver DeVante Parker, and defensive ends Robert Quinn and Andre Branch. The latter three moves are considered all but certain, while Tannehill could potentially be a trade candidate.

Meanwhile, star cornerback Xavien Howard — who is entering the final year of his rookie deal — said he hasn’t had any extension talks with the Dolphins, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com. Jackson reported last month that Howard was expected to command at least $15MM annually on his next contract, but it’s unclear if Miami is willing to go that high.

Extra Points: Fournette, Jaguars, Foles, Gase, Dolphins

While today’s NFL news is almost entirely focused on coaching staff shakeups, there are still some other interesting nuggets out there. One very noteworthy situation is the drama unfolding with the Jaguars and Leonard Fournette. Yesterday, head of football operations Tom Coughlin blasted Fournette for sitting on the bench during the team’s Week 17 loss, and now the team is voiding the remaining guarantees in his contract, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN (Twitter link). The voiding is a result of Fournette’s suspension by the league for one game a couple of weeks ago for his role in a fight that broke out in the Jaguars/Bills game. The NFLPA could challenge any such move, but if his contract included an exception for suspensions, as most rookie deals do, there might not be much they can do.

As a first round pick, Fournette’s multi-million dollar salaries for 2019 and 2020 had been guaranteed, but that’s no longer the case. The team can now cut Fournette without paying him anything more, and a parting of ways whether by trade or release now seems like a very real possibility. It’s a pretty significant development as a few weeks ago no one would’ve guessed the 2017 fourth overall pick’s longterm future with the team was in doubt. The Jaguars invested a very early pick in Fournette, but the returns have been underwhelming. He’s been injury prone and not particularly efficient even when healthy, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry this season. The Fournette situation will be one of the most interesting to monitor this offseason.

Here’s more from around the league on Black Monday:

  • Nick Foles scared Eagles fans everywhere when he went down with a rib injury late in the team’s win over the Redskins, but the undeniably clutch signal caller will be alright for the playoffs. Tests on his ribs came back “clear”, and Foles will start this weekend against the Bears, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s great news for Philly’s chances, as they look to make a second straight magical run to the Super Bowl. No matter what happens with Foles, he’s extremely unlikely to be back with the Eagles in 2019.
  • Adam Gase has been fired by the Dolphins, and not all of Miami’s players are sad to see him go. “Many players in Dolphins locker room won’t be hurt by decision to fire Adam Gase”, reports Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who reports that some players told him they felt “alienated” by Gase and that he held some players to a “different standard.” Reports like these surely won’t help Gase in his quest to land a new head coaching job, although he is still expected to be a hot candidate.
  • Speaking of the Dolphins, one pleasant development for Miami this year was the breakout season cornerback Xavien Howard had. While Howard wants to sign a longterm extension with the Dolphins, his price tag might be too high, according to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald. Howard picked off seven passes this year, and told Beasley he wants to land the biggest contract for a cornerback in NFL history. Josh Norman currently holds that record, and Howard thinks he deserves to break it. Howard will be playing the final year of his rookie deal in 2019, and Beasley writes that “$15 million annually is expected to be the floor when Howard’s representatives begin extension talks this offseason.” The Dolphins will have a new coaching staff and front office, and it will be interesting to see if they’re willing to meet his demands as they head into a rebuild.