Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard reported for training camp on Tuesday after skipping all of the team’s offseason training program this year. The All Pro has been looking for a new contract with the Dolphins, but the team has not appeared ready to come to terms with their 2016 second-round pick who still has four years remaining on his current deal.
Now, it appears Howard is only in camp to avoid a fine as he released a statement through his agent and on social media indicating he has requested a trade from Miami,
I’ve given my heart and soul to the Miami Dolphins since they drafted me in 2016, and want to make it clear that I love my teammates.
They are my family. But what I’ve learned is that the business side of the NFL proves organizations don’t always have a player’s best interest at heart.
My experience with the Dolphins the pas few seasons has taught me that. In 2018 I signed an extension that I’ll admit I didn’t completely understand, or feel comfortable with.
I’ve played on that deal for two seasons and didn’t complain, but everyone knows I’ve significantly outperformed that deal.
I’m one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, and the tape backs that claim. The assignments I’m given, shadowing the opposition’s best player with list help, proves my value, my worth. Yet, I’m the second highest paid cornerback on my own team, and it’s not even close.
I want to clear up a few misconceptions about my situation. My agent David Canter and I have never once asked for a completely new contract.
We wanted things to work out with the Dolphins, and brought solutions to the table - like guaranteeing more money - that we felt were win-wins for both sides. These were proposals of adjustments that wouldn’t just make me feel more respected, but were also cap friendly. But the Dolphins refused everything we proposed.
That is why I don’t feel the organization has dealt with me in good faith. 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.
Until that trade happens I am here just so I don’t get fined, and will handle myself like professionals do.
Howard’s 2018 contract extension made him the highest paid cornerback in the league in terms of average salary per year at $15.05 million per season. He is currently sixth, one spot behind Dolphins 2019 free agent addition Byron Jones, who is making $16.5 million per season. Jalen Ramsey currently holds the top spot at $20 million per year.
Do the Dolphins find a way to appease their disgruntled star, similar to how the Green Bay Packers were able to come to an agreement with Aaron Rodgers this week? Do they find a trade partner willing to pay what should be an exorbitant price to assume Howard’s contract - knowing Howard will want a new deal with whichever team executes a trade? How will the drama play out over the next few weeks?