If you troll the internet social media forums and discussion boards you will know that Xavien Howard is the hottest trending Miami Dolphins topic and there is no end in sight.
With training camp starting in 11 days, Howard is hoping that the Miami Dolphins will do something to help him. He needs them to help him because he has absolutely no leverage in this situation. He knows that the Dolphins know that, his agent knows that, and fans should know that.
The only thing that Howard can do is hold out of camp. He could skip the entire training camp sessions and show up as if nothing happened before the season starts. He will incur around $50,000 a day in fines. Those fines can not be taken away or wiped off under the current CBA which set a policy in place to deter players from doing what Howard is threatening to do.
The CBA states that if a player is on his second contract (or more) then holding out of camp is an immediate fine per day that can not be rescinded or paid back by the club. If Howard stays away for 15 days of camp, he would be paying $750,000 in fines that he can’t get back.
Miami knows this as well.
What Howard has to deal with is the fact that he needs Miami to do something for him. If they give him a new contract, then he will be happy at least for another two years before he starts to want a new one. If he gets traded, then he will also get his wish to get out of Miami. If that is in fact what he wants. There has been speculation in previous years that he didn’t want to be there.
Howard still has four years left on his current contract and has played only two years under that deal that at the time made him the highest-paid player at his position.
With camp around the corner, Howard will have to make a decision long before the Dolphins do. They owe him nothing financially and they could play hardball and let Howard sit out and fine him and play the season without him while he sits at home. That may sound like Howard’s only real leverage but he will do himself absolutely no favors by taking that route.
Howard’s best approach remains to report with the team, asking for a restructure that guarantees more money (his guaranteed portions are all paid), or playing light out like he did last year and then try again to get a new deal. That is the only leverage he has and that’s pretty thin.