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Xavien Howard wants from Miami. The All-Pro cornerback revealed on Instagram tonight that he has applied for a trade with the Dolphins (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter).
This trade question follows Howard’s earlier decision to skip the mandatory mini camp in pursuit of a new contract. We learned recently that the defending defender had “dig in” over the contract issue, and he was expected to stay away from the organization until the situation was resolved. Instead, the apparent deadlock has evolved into a full-blown trade request.
In his statement, Howard said the “business side of the NFL proves that organizations don’t always have a player’s best interest in mind,” citing the extension that he was “not comfortable” signing a few years ago. . Howard also noted that he will stay at the training camp to avoid fines.
“We wanted the Dolphins to be okay and brought solutions to the table – like guaranteeing more money – that we thought was a win-win for both sides,” Howard continued. “These were proposals for adjustments that would not only make me feel more respected, but also pet-friendly. But the dolphins refused everything we suggested.
“Therefore, I do not feel that the organization has treated me in good faith. I don’t feel valued or respected by the dolphins. Just as they can take a business-first approach, so can I… That’s why I want to make it clear that I’m not satisfied and have requested an exchange.”
Howard is coming off a great season, intercepting a league-leading 10 passes (second time in three seasons he’s paced the NFL in INTs), becoming the second-best CB in the league according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced stats . While the $75 million five-year pact Howard signed with the Dolphins in 2019 made him the highest-paid corner in the league at the time, his $15 million AAV is now the sixth highest figure in football (one spot behind teammate). Byron Jones, who is not as good as Howard, but who was lucky enough to sign his free agent contract a year later). Late last month we learned that Howard was looking for a deal that would at least exceed his teammate’s contract.
Howard’s situation is different from standard contract breaks as he still has four years left on his contract. While a player with one or two years left on his deal would be an easy candidate for a renegotiated pact, a player with Howard’s term would be eyeing a virtually unprecedented rework. Head coach Brian Flores seemed to point out that “unique situation” in June.
“After a year, it’s really something that hasn’t been done before,” Flores said when Howard asked for a new contract. “I’m not saying we draw a line in the sand, but different players determine the market every year.”
While the Dolphins would certainly prefer Howard in uniform, all is not lost as teams would certainly be willing to trade for a player of his caliber. We’ve already heard that the Saints could be a potential landing spot, and Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets that the Cowboys had previously contacted the cornerback.
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