Xavien Howard’s deal not quite what it seems to be

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The quid pro quo for getting the scoop on a new player contract includes hyping the deal in an effort to make it look better than it is. And that’s definitely what those who got first word of Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard‘s deal did.

While it’s true that his five-year, $76.5 million extension has a new-money value of $15.3 million per year (which those who got the scoop breathlessly reported), the total value from signing of the six-year contract, when including the $1.285 million he was due to earn in 2019, stands at $77.785 million, an average of only $12.96 million per year.

With the cornerback franchise tag at $16 million for 2019 and certain to go up in 2020, Howard gave the team a steep discount and, more importantly, he committed to the Dolphins for six years. As the cap continues to go up and up and up, thanks to a looming CBA, looming TV deals, and looming gambling revenue (my limit for using “looming” is closing in), that deal will look worse and worse, sooner than later.

Three years ago, Washington cornerback Josh Norman signed a five-year contract with a firm average of $15 million at signing. Last year, Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson signed a five-year contract worth $14.5 million per year at signing. Two years ago, Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye signed a five-year contract worth $13.5 million at signing. That same year, Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore signed a five-year contract worth $13 million at signing. Each of those deals carries a greater annual average at signing than the deal signed by Howard, who could have played out his rookie contract and forced the Dolphins to tag him (at more than $16 million) or to let him hit the open market, where he definitely would have gotten a deal worth more than $12.96 million per year — at a commitment of less than six years.

But, hey, Howard and his agent got to crow for a little while about having the best cornerback contract in NFL history. Even though, on closer examination, it isn’t.

15 responses to “Xavien Howard’s deal not quite what it seems to be

  1. He got 46mil guaranteed. I doubt him or his family will care about your opinion of his contract. What’s wrong with a player getting a good deal and the team also getting a good deal? Turns out if everyone tries to break bank the bank wont be able to support it. I doubt he plays out all 6 years of that contract anyways. He will be a free agent or have it reworked just like everyone else does.

  2. I would have offered $10M less, with incentives to get to that lower number.

  3. It’s GREAT that we extended one of our own for a change and X is someone we can build around on D. Plus, I don’t feel like we overpaid for him. I hope we can do the same thing with Laremy Tunsil!!

  4. I already shared why it was a good deal for the Dolphins in an earlier post, but how is this that bad for Howard? He made $4.8M in his first 3 years in the league. Nice paychecks and better than 99.9% of us will ever do in 3 years but again, modest earnings by pro athlete standards. Hell, after taxes and only being 25 y.o. that’s prob. not even quite retirement money. I know FL has no state tax but still, not massive wealth given his age.

    So his new contract GUARANTEES him $46M. That is absolutely retirement money and something to pass to the family, assuming he doesn’t mismanage it. But at 25 yo this guy just secured his entire future.

    What if he blows out an achilles in training camp or any other major injury? What if he has a down year and didn’t get a tag and then has to head into FA looking for 1 yr prove it deals? Future is always uncertain for any player.

    Sure, he could play the whole ‘bet on yourself year to year’ game but this young man just set himself and family up for life. Isn’t that sort of the goal of working in the first place?

  5. If you like the team 12.9 per year isn’t that steep of a drop from the top free agent numbers. Live in Miami, get paid like that, no state income tax? Could do a lot worse.

  6. i dont get your logic here. he signed a 5 yr/$76.5 mil deal, that obviously kicks in after this season, the last on his rookie deal. why are you lumping in this coming season to make it 6 years and not 5?! we hear all the time how “X” players extension kicks in NEXT SEASON.

  7. So it sounds like Howard signed a team friendly deal. Man, I’m starting to like what this new approach is doing for the Dolphins.

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