Xavien Howard Rumors: Dolphins Haven't Had Significant Contract Talks amid Trade Buzz

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 29, 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

The Miami Dolphins and cornerback Xavien Howard reportedly haven't held any major contract talks in recent days.

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, any contract talks between the Dolphins and Howard's agent, David Canter, over the past couple of days have not been "significant."

Howard released the following statement Tuesday, noting that he is unhappy with his contract and requested a trade:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Xavien Howard: <a href="https://t.co/CdeL70tUqh">pic.twitter.com/CdeL70tUqh</a>

Despite that, Howard reported to training camp in order to avoid any potential fines.

Salguero noted that Howard was on the practice field for stretching Thursday before leaving and not returning. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald followed up with a report that Howard's absence was due to a minor injury.

Howard, 28, signed a five-year, $75.25 million contract extension with the Dolphins in 2019, but he has quickly outperformed that deal. The problem for Howard is that he is under contract for four more seasons and the Dolphins have no obligation to trade him.

As part of his statement, Howard said he asked the Dolphins to restructure his current deal in a way that would have netted him more guaranteed money and helped Miami with cap savings, but the Dolphins refused.

Howard, who was a second-round pick in 2016, has been named to two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro first team in five NFL seasons.

He has led the NFL in interceptions in two of the past three seasons, including 2020 when he recorded a career-high 10 picks. Howard also set a new career mark with 20 passes defended and made 51 tackles as well.

Howard was named a first-team All-Pro for his efforts, bolstering his claim that he deserves a new or reworked deal.

Since Howard entered the NFL in 2016, only Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters has more interceptions than Howard's 22, with 23.

Considering the Dolphins fell just short of reaching the playoffs last season with a 10-6 record, they can ill afford to lose such a key piece.

If the Dolphins do decide to trade Howard, Byron Jones would become the clear No. 1 corner, while veteran Jason McCourty and 2020 first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene would be asked to step up.

Howard is still a member of the Dolphins for now, but with no resolution to the contract situation in sight, he may not be long for the organization.