Dolphins indeed have a “unique situation” with Xavien Howard contract

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
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Dolphins coach Brian Flores describes the contract problem with cornerback Xavien Howard as a “unique situation.” Flores is absolutely right in his assessment of it.

The Dolphins signed Howard two years ago to a five-year extension at a time when he had one year left on his rookie deal, putting him under contract for six total years. Hyped as a record deal paying Howard $15.05 million per year in new money, the six-year contract actually had a value of $12.75 million per year at signing.

Howard was due to make $1.285 million in 2019, and the franchise tag for 2020 was $16.338 million, a total two-year payout of $17.623 million. Under his new contract, Howard received $20.185 million in 2019 and 2020. For the extra $2.562 million, Howard committed for four more years at a remaining payout of $49.3 million, an average of $12.325 million per year.

So Howard, a defensive player of the year candidate in 2020 who led the league with 10 interceptions, understandably wants more.

X is a little bit of a unique situation,” Flores said on Tuesday. “He was extended and now we’re talking about a potential renegotiation after one year. Those turn into longer conversations. We understand that. We’ve obviously had a lot of talks and conversations about that and we’ll continue to have those and keep them internal, but it’s a very unique conversation.”

Complicating the conversation is the fact that the Dolphins have since signed cornerback Byron Jones to a five-year, $82.5 million contract, with an average of $16.5 million per year.

Although Howard has played two years since signing the contract, the team views it as coming after only one year, since the first new year came in 2020.

“After one year, it’s honestly something that hasn’t been done before,” Flores said. “Not saying we’re drawing a line in the sand, but different players set the market every year.”

On one hand, the Dolphins surely are concerned about the precedent they’d be setting. On the other hand, the Dolphins need to realize that they got a bargain by dangling a six-year deal in 2019. New-money shenanigans notwithstanding, it truly was a $12.75 million contract. He has played at a level higher than that.

The fact that Howard has changed agents makes his effort to get a new deal even more understandable; his new agent won’t get paid until Howard signs a new deal. The depressed salary cap makes it harder to accomplish.

Howard is doing what he can to apply leverage — he’s withholding services in the offseason. For now, the cost of doing so won’t be more than a total of $93,085. If the skips training camp, it will cost $50,000 per day. Under the 2020 CBA, those amounts no longer can be waived by the team.

9 responses to “Dolphins indeed have a “unique situation” with Xavien Howard contract

  1. He’s EARNED a new renegotiation on his contract.

    He’s actually gotten a lot better than anyone even thought. 10 interceptions versus giving up only 4 TDS. QBs had a 48.3 QB rating against him – think about that. He made every QB look like Jarrett Stidham and Ryan Finley while covering the top WR.

    That’s impressive.

  2. Sure thing. We’d gladly give Howard more money because of his increased level of pay after signing a large contract ONLY if every other player who signed a huge deal and doesn’t live up to their commitment gives the money back. Jeesh the room just got quite all of a sudden.

  3. The longer the deal, and greater guaranteed money, makes it a safer long term contract for the player. If you want greater risk and reward, you opt for a shorter deal, hoping your play continues to be at a high level to maximize the changing market prices, so you can keep raising your salary with the next one.
    But this kind of BS is just wanting the benefits of the ever escalating positional salaries without any of the drawbacks of diminished play by the player. Always the reward, but never the risk.
    The Dolphins would be foolish to give him want he wants, because he just revealed who he is. Because if he performs poorly in 2021, his sense of fairness would mean he would undoubtably be okay with a subsequent salary cut if that happened…

  4. What exact was “shenanigans” about offering more money, starting immedi,then honoring what the player signed to play for? If he had blown out a knee, I am certain he wouldn’t call the $12 million dollars “shenanigans”.

  5. If he has leverage then he should use it. If the team has leverage then they should use it. I see no problem with either side using their leverage to get more money or to pay someone less money.

    I don’t understand people who criticize either side for using their leverage, it’s a childish mindset. Every player signs a contract knowing that the holdout is their leverage. Every team offers a contract knowing that the holdout as leverage still exists.

    Nothing in this situation is unfair.

  6. When the Fins made him the highest paid corner at that time he was sidelined with a bad knee. They paid him big taking a chance he may never be the same after surgery and he missed plenty of games before that signing. I say see what kind of picks you can get for him knowing his trade value is high now and the QB position (imo) is still up in the air.

  7. cubancigar10 says:
    June 15, 2021 at 1:12 pm
    Sure thing. We’d gladly give Howard more money because of his increased level of pay after signing a large contract ONLY if every other player who signed a huge deal and doesn’t live up to their commitment gives the money back. Jeesh the room just got quite all of a sudden.

    ———. ———- ————— —————- ——————————

    Yea maybe if contracts were fully guaranteed, teams actually had to pay out the contracts THEY write up and the player signs, not bench players close to performance bonuses. Sign them to 16 game pay scales then add a game. And not cut and void the contracts. Maybe then you’d have a point. One more thing, cut trade shoot out of a cannon. Didn’t Brady and the patriots performances last year give you an inkling that maybe just maybe good players are important.

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