Xavien Howard Trade Rumors: 2 Playoff Teams Have Inquired About Dolphins Star CB

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 28, 2021

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard prepares to warm up during NFL football practice, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Several teams, including two playoff teams, reportedly contacted the Miami Dolphins regarding a trade for cornerback Xavien Howard.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the news but did not identify the interested parties. Howard released a statement Tuesday, publicly requesting a trade amid failed contract extension negotiations.

"I don't feel the organization has dealt with me in good faith," Howard wrote in the statement. "I don't feel valued or respected by the Dolphins. Just like they can take a business-first approach, so can I. That's why I want to make it clear I'm not happy, and have requested a trade."

Howard has been one of the NFL's best cornerbacks since being selected in the second round of the 2016 draft. He's led the league in interceptions in two of the last three seasons, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro berths in both campaigns. Pro Football Focus gave him an 87.3 overall grade for the 2020 season.

The Dolphins signed Howard to a five-year, $75.3 million contract in May 2019. The deal offered just $27.2 million in full guarantees at signing, and the Dolphins essentially have Howard on a year-to-year contract beginning in 2022.

Miami could save $11.6 million by trading or releasing Howard ahead of next season, essentially putting his financial future in the team's hands. His average per-year salary ranks sixth among cornerbacks, so the dispute is very likely about creating more guarantees for Howard moving forward.

Howard also noted that he is the second-highest paid cornerback on the team despite getting the more difficult assignments. 

"Until that trade happens, I am just here so I don't get fined and will handle myself like professionals do," Howard said. "I've played on my deal for two seasons and didn't complain, but everyone knows I've significantly outperformed that deal."