Dolphins deny that they are “exploring any trades” involving Xavien Howard

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With a week to go until the window closes on trades and, as a practical matter, a couple of days for any players acquired in trade to be available for Week Nine, teams are talking about potential deals that can be done.

Some teams are talking publicly about deals that won’t be done.

The Dolphins, in response to a report from Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the team is “exploring trade offers” for cornerback Xavien Howard, have issued a statement.

“The report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is factually inaccurate and based on rumors,” the Dolphins said. “The paper practiced poor journalism by not reaching out to the team for comment or the chance to respond prior to publishing the story. We are not exploring any trades regarding Xavien Howard.”

Kelly’s report was confirmed by Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post. 

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald explains that he and colleague Adam Beasley “were told this morning that a couple teams have inquired about Xavien,” and that “[w]e spoke to the team and chose not to report until a fuller picture and details emerged about the likelihood of him actually being traded.” 

In situations like this, accuracy definitely hinges on semantics. A team may not be affirmatively shopping a player, but teams may indeed be calling about the player. And if the team doesn’t immediately hang up the phone but instead listens to what the other team offers or suggests or hints at by way of a possible trade, the team is doing, well, something.

Maybe it’s listening. Maybe it’s receiving. Maybe it’s exploring.

The Dolphins could be telling the truth when they say they aren’t “exploring” trade offers for Howard. Really, what would there be to “explore” if other teams are calling and making offers known?

Above all else, the Dolphins need to create the impression that they aren’t motivated sellers. That’s the only way to ensure that they’ll have maximum leverage in any trade talks that may happen — and to preserve/repair the relationship with a player who could be upset if he thinks his team is trying to trade him.

Indeed, if Jackson and Beasley knew that teams were calling about Howard, there arguably was no reason to not report it; it would have been accurate. Frankly, it sounds like the Dolphins talked the Herald out of reporting it. (Yes, that happens frequently in this business, sometimes with express or side deals or implied understandings attached.)

Trading Howard now would trigger a $4.2 million cap charge in 2021. He signed his most recent contract, which at the time paid out a record amount per year in new money for the position, in 2019.

He’s signed through 2024, at a current salary of $11.9 million and upcoming salaries of $12.075 million (2021), $12.375 million (2022), $11.4 million (2023), and $11.65 million (2024).

Howard has four interceptions in six games for the 3-3 Dolphins.

24 responses to “Dolphins deny that they are “exploring any trades” involving Xavien Howard

  1. Doesn’t make sense to move Howard. Salary is reasonable and they have space, not seeing the upside.

  2. I thought we were going to trade him this past offseason.. Oakland would’ve given up a 1st for him..

  3. Any and everyone has a price.
    Miami would be dumb to get rid of him. Him and Jones are doing a great job when on the field together.

  4. Once again, the almighty media can do no wrong in their quest to continue to churn the rumor mill to create conflict. It serves no value for an organization to respond to this type of garbage reporting. No matter what they say, there will always be the comeback commentary that attempts to slant the response, in hopes of continuing the storyline. These teams just need to learn to call “BS”. and not talk with rumor mongering journalists.

  5. Where’s Bill O’Brien when you need him? Seriously though, you always listen to offers, that’s part of good business. He’s an excellent corner, so I’m guessing it’ll cost about the same, if not more than the Tunsil deal.

  6. I can see the Bucs trading for him. They are going all out this season. A win now mode is a must when you have a 43-year-old quarterback. Either they trade for him or they’ll sign Eli Apple.

  7. This I believe. Miami is not going to give up a player of Howard’s caliber while they are in the playoff hunt.

  8. Flores will make another dumb deal. Tunsil… All Pro.. Drake… Great season last year… and of course Minkah Fitzpatrick, young, reasonable salary who goes on to make all pro.

  9. Yeah, draft picks are nice, but you need to KNOW what to do with them, and right now, Miami has given no indication they do..

  10. Sounds to me like they took a couple of calls… didn’t get offered a 1+… end of phone call. Howard is probably the best CB in the NFL right now.. if a team is willing to step up and offer a blow away offer (like with Tunsil) then there’s no reason to move him. That being said he’s only played about 60% of the games in his career and already had 3 knee surgeries.

  11. Flores will make another dumb deal. Tunsil… All Pro.. Drake… Great season last year… and of course Minkah Fitzpatrick, young, reasonable salary who goes on to make all pro.

    Lol. Tunsil has made one pro bowl in his career and never an All Pro. Watson still gets sacked a lot. The Texans got fleeced in that deal. Miami drafted his replacement with the Minkah (whiner) first rounder and has another first and second rounder from Houston this year. That could be a top 10 pick. Drake? Please. He’s just another guy.

  12. Omar is a hack and he never breaks a Dolphin story. Barry and Armando break stories. Omar always has unnamed sources just like how someone in the Dolphin locker room thinks Tua is awful. Never happened.

  13. Howard’s value is extremely high right now. Another knee injury and that all changes of course. Fin’s have 2 of the top 10 picks now. How many picks could they get for Howard to add to what they have now? Yes, I’d take the call to hear what’s offered.

  14. PFTSelectiveCensorship says:
    October 27, 2020 at 4:50 pm
    Flores will make another dumb deal. Tunsil… All Pro.. Drake… Great season last year… and of course Minkah Fitzpatrick, young, reasonable salary who goes on to make all pro.


    Hahahaha. Dolphins are about to get a top 6 pick from Houston as well another top 40 pick and on ya, our 19th pick from this year who is adequately replacing Tunsil. Drake is always hurt. Minkah, meh.

  15. PFTSelectiveCensorship says:
    October 27, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Flores will make another dumb deal. Tunsil… All Pro.. Drake… Great season last year… and of course Minkah Fitzpatrick, young, reasonable salary who goes on to make all pro.


    You obviously don’t follow the team closely. The Dolphins sent Tunsil, Stills (insulted owner, Stephen Ross on Twitter) and a fourth round pick to Houston for TWO first round picks (2020, 2021), a second round pick (2021) and two backup players. Tunsil was due a big contract and the Dolphins felt the offer coming from a desperate O’Brien was too good to refuse. They selected tackle Austin Jackson in the first round of the draft and he has played surprisingly well. So far, he looks like he can grow into the position and replace Tunsil just fine. Drake is a running back, who cares? He was also due a pay increase when the front office was stripping the team down. They DID NOT want to trade Fitzpatrick. Chris Grier and Coach Flores tried to reason with him when he came into the office and asked to be traded. He did not want to play a “hybrid” safety position in Flores’ defense, so they shopped him. He’s a great player, but did you watch “Baby” Minkah basically let the Titans back into the game last Sunday with his mis-tackle on A.J. Brown’s 73 yd. TD and the pass interference call he committed on 4th and 1 from the goal line that gave the Titans a new set of downs where they scored on the next play?

  16. Minkah is good. Props to Grier for drafting him. But he had no heart when thungs got tough so Flores booted him.

    Tunsil is a genius. He’s a better agent than he is a tackle. $22 million a year on a 1-6 team. The GM on the other side of the trade got fired so who do you think won the trade?

    Drake, he’s not bad. But he’s hurt. And his backup who nobody ever heard of is outplaying him.

    So if they trade Howard, who is playing great, I trust Grier to get fair value or more.

  17. I said in another comment here that Omar Kelly was Miami’s version of Manish Mehta who writes for the Jets…that is, this dude who blasted Tannehill until the cows came home and my Aggie Home Boy was traded to the Titans so he could blast back at Omar, will do anything to garner click bait! Actually, he makes Mehta seem like an actual journalist! Where is Armando Salguero when you need him? Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! Plus he hates Tua? (Note: I mistakenly said he writes for the Palm Beach Post…he writes for the Sun-Sentinel). And when has Omar ever been right? (Maybe about Gase…..)

  18. Why would they want Xavier Rhodes…he stunk with the Vikings 4 penalties a game.

  19. For those attacking the Dolphins for Tunsil and Minkah… 1) The Dolphins didn’t want to trade either of them 2) The Dolphins were offered 2 1’s and a 2 for Tunsil and a player they were gonna cut (Kenny Stills)… you don’t say no to that unless it’s Tom Brady, Brett Favre, or Dan Marino 3) Minkah asked to be traded. The Dolphins tried to convert him from a pure safety to a hybrid swiss army knife defensive player. Fitzpatrick couldn’t handle this plan, complained, whined, and bitched. The Dolphins said if they could get a 1 they would give in to his demand. The Steelers stepped up.

  20. Trading Fitz? Tough call for too many reasons to list but here’s the thing. Fitz is a free agent at the end of this year. IMO, I doubt he’ll stick around to be a back up if he can go somewhere and start. He has value now and if he walks you get nothing. With Tuesday being the trade deadline I would say a lot will depend on how Tua plays Sunday and what he looks like on Monday. If that goes well and a great offer for Fitz is on the table… you trade him.

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