Holdout, trade request could be on the horizon for Xavien Howard

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
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Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard swapped out the last year of his rookie deal for a six-year contract in 2019. He now wants to tear it up and start over.

And for good reason. Howard has outplayed the deal. However, that was the risk he took when accepting certainty and security at a time when he was carrying the risk of injury and ineffectiveness into the final season of his rookie contract.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald suggests that Howard will stay away from training camp unless he gets a new deal. Salguero says that Howard then will request a trade.

It’s a high-stakes game of poker for Howard and his new agent, David Canter. The 2020 labor deal imposes fines in the amount of $50,000 per day on training-camp holdouts, and for players operating under their second contract, the fines cannot be waived.

A trade would not wreck Miami’s salary cap. Howard would leave behind a cap charge of $1.4 million this year and $2.8 million in 2022. Still, Howard’s new team also would have to be willing to sign him to the contract that he wants, along with giving up the compensation that the Dolphins will want for the trade.

The Dolphins will be inclined to hold firm, for fear of setting a bad precedent. However, they had to realize when signing Howard to a deal that looked much better than it was that Howard may want to rip it up, if he performs at a high level.

It’s easy to shrug and say, “A deal’s a deal.” However, if Howard had performed poorly the past two seasons, the Dolphins wouldn’t hesitate to ask him to take a pay cut or, if he refused, to cut him. While the one-way nature of contracts is a fact of life in the NFL, players who have a limited window of their lifetimes for making significant money while playing football need to do what they can while they can to get full and fair value for their efforts.

One possibility would be to shift from future money into 2021 and then re-do the deal or trade Howard after the season. Ultimately, the situation comes down to Howard’s willingness to stay away, the team’s willingness to dig in, and the question of whether the impasse can be broken without Howard sitting out one or more regular-season games.

24 responses to “Holdout, trade request could be on the horizon for Xavien Howard

  1. Calling it now (yes, I am really crazy):

    Once Deshaun Watson clears his legal stuff up by paying the plantiffs, Howard and Tua for Watson.

  2. He averages over $15mil per season. Sportrac has him as the #5 for average pay for cornerbacks. So how exactly is he grossly underpaid?

  3. And if he had underperformed his contract, would he be giving some of the money back?

  4. Howard is as good as gone. With his injury history he’s not going to get more money. The only question is how much Miami will get for him.

  5. jasons81 says:
    June 17, 2021 at 2:08 pm
    He averages over $15mil per season. Sportrac has him as the #5 for average pay for cornerbacks. So how exactly is he grossly underpaid?

    ————————————-
    Les Snead and the Rams, just like they did for Gurley they got into a bad position and overpaid their CB and reset the market, now the, great in their mind, players want to be paid equivalent. Seattle will have to do the same for their safetie since they are stuck having to pay or admit they gave up way to much for the trade just like the Rams CB.

  6. He signed his deal 2 years ago, and when he did it made him the highest paid CB in the league. Now apparently that isn’t good enough for him? Tough luck, he has 4 years left on his deal. Tell him to either play or retire and give back the money he would’ve made.

  7. pioniere says:
    June 17, 2021 at 2:25 pm
    And if he had underperformed his contract, would he be giving some of the money back?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    No, he’d be requesting a trade because he was disrespected by the front office after they asked him to.

  8. I wouldn’t hesitate to sit down with him and discuss moving some money around, but I’d definitely lean more towards a deal is a deal and retire if he’d rather not play and they can’t trade him for a haul. Any team that gives this guy a new deal should include a ton of performance bonuses so the risk is on both sides.

  9. What about adding some kind of incentives?
    If he has a great year het gets a couple million more, but nothing guaranteed.
    If he has a good year, no bonus.

  10. If we can fix our pass rush then we could possible do without him and go with some younger talent. If that is the case, I’ll take 2 1st’s and unload the contract.

  11. The new agent doesn’t get paid for the deal the old agent work out. Seems like the agent is trying to get paid. Whether or not that’s what’s best for his client.

  12. I think I’d redo a deal with him that was heavy in incentives. If he plays the way he played last year, it would equate to what he’s looking for. if he doesn’t, he gets paid less. If he truly thinks he’s that much better than what he signed for, let him prove it. if he does, he gets paid what he thinks he’s worth.

  13. We should trade him to a team that has a solid corner to give back and a first round pick. Miami isn’t going to the playoffs on cover corners. Miami will have to play better at defensive end and get to the QB to get there. Howard getting interceptions when the QB is throwing the ball 5 seconds after the snap shows the weakness we have up front. Miami will be a contender when it gets QB’s out of the pocket and gets sacks.

  14. And for good reason. Howard has outplayed the deal.

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    Does the agent pay you directly to say stuff like this? Or are you compensated by getting news tips?

  15. The new agent doesn’t get paid for the deal the old agent work out. Seems like the agent is trying to get paid. Whether or not that’s what’s best for his client.

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    Ever notice how sometimes PFT plays the “player X is underpaid” card? I bet if you went through the archives you’d see a pattern when it came to the agents.

  16. Let’s also state the obvious. X was excellent in 2020. But he only played 5 games in 2019 due to injuries and was replacement level while playing. So why would the team reset his contract over one great season that followed one lousy one? They already gave him the top corner contract when he hadn’t earned that yet

  17. So he Miami signs him to a new 5 year deal…plays great the next two years…is he going to sit because he’s no longer a top paid CB?

  18. I remember when he signed that extension… everyone.. and I mean everyone… said it was unjustified and the Dolphins severely overpaid. Fast forward a few years and now he’s “outplayed” a contract he hadn’t even earned yet? Gotta love short term memories

  19. You simply can’t be the highest paid player every year. He was #1 paid CB when he signed. In what world is $76 million not enough? Guess he’s never heard of Latrell Sprewell.

  20. Howard was dealing with a bad knee that caused him to miss practice and games before he signed the contract that at that time was the highest for his position. At this moment the Fins need a top tier QB more than they need a bloated contract for Howard who’s knee issues could potentially return. If being a Miami Dolphin at his pay rate is making his life so terrible then request the trade. This bad advise Howard is getting from his new agent who wants to get paid and missed getting paid on the previous contract is a game of chicken he may very well regret he played.

  21. People forget what it was like when Miami offered him that contract. Howard he a breakout year, by far his best year, but he also gave up alot of plays that year as well. Miami TOOK A HUGE RISK paying him that much. Then the following year he tore his knee up and only played in 4-5 games and played pretty awful. Miami put him on IR because the season was lost anyway. By then the deal looked rough for the team. Howard took the contract because it was a good offer to him. He couldve tested the market but he thought it was good enough not to do so. Also I didnt hear him complaining while he was getting paid on IR. If he doesnt want to play for generational wealth, let him retire. No more people whining their way out of Miami.

  22. The NFL needs to pay attention or they will turn into the NBA with players deciding where they feel like playing during multi-year deals.

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