Xavien Howard shows up for first day of Dolphins’ work

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Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard wants a new contract, and deserves one.

But he’s not withholding services in an attempt to get that deal.

Via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Howard was in attendance during the first day of the Dolphins’ offseason program Monday.

Howard’s entering the final year of his rookie deal, and is set to make just $1.3 million this season. Whenever he signs his next deal, he figures to be one of the top-paid players at his position.

General Manager Chris Grier said at the Scouting Combine he expected as much, as he discussed a potential extension for the 2016 second-rounder.

“It would be great,” Grier said of a long-term deal. “We’ve been talking to his agent back and forth a little bit and they’ve been very good to work with. Xavien wants to be here and wants to be here long-term. So yeah it would be important because I think it could send a message, which we want, is that we want our good young players to be here. So we’re working on trying to get something done. Whether it gets done or not who knows. There’s a lot of things that goes into that, getting those decisions done. But yes if we could get it done it’d be great but who knows?”

While it will be important for them to keep him because he’s good at football, a deal would also carry some symbolic weight. The Dolphins have purged most of their talented and expensive veterans, so committing to an ascending player helps in terms of taking them seriously when they discuss their long-range building plans.