At the NFL Combine, Miami Dolphins general manager, Chris Grier, spoke with the media and said the team is working with Xavien Howard on a new deal. Maybe they shouldn’t be.
Xavien Howard is the best player that Miami has on defense but it isn’t by a huge margin. Howard has been joined by a bunch of up and coming stars. Brandon Jones, Jaelan Phillips, and of course Jevon Holland. Now, here we are again trying to make Howard happy.
Last off-season there was threats of leaving, a holdout threat, skipped voluntary workouts, and even a rumored trade request. Miami gave in. Brian Flores made it clear he wanted Howard and the Dolphins moved money around so that he could be the highest paid player on the team.
Now, a year later and Howard is no longer the highest paid player. He comes up a couple of $100k short of Byron Jones. Apparently, the Dolphins are not going to go through this again, the problems that is.
According to Omar Kelly via Twitter, the Dolphins are talking with Howard about a new contract, something Kelly says the team told him they would do this off-season. At some point enough has to be enough.
Howard is electric and he can change the outcome of a game. Last year we saw that with his game clinching opening weekend interception against the Patriots. 2021 was not as good as 2020 but we knew he wasn’t hitting those numbers again. Howard is still very good and that is why giving him a new contract doesn’t make as much sense as just trading him.
I know, this is not a popular opinion and I am sure that the regular catcalls from the audience in the comment section will beg for me to just leave but it is true. Miami is investing a lot of money in a 28 year old corner who will still have a very good season or two but not likely another “great” one. He has passed the precipice of his career, in my opinion.
Once a corner starts to lose his game, it goes quickly. We have seen this with others before including Darrelle Revis. There is a short life span on the edge and Howard wanting more money is not a bad thing, for him. Miami wanting to give him more isn’t a bad thing but at some point, the Dolphins need to realize that there are other positions that need to be upgraded and Howard has a contract that he is playing on and it isn’t some way underpaid deal. Howard is making a lot of money in 2021, $16 million plus.
While I do think that there is a lot to like about Howard and having him here is far better than not, what gets me is the fact that Miami has him under contract and for the 2nd year in a row we are tweaking it or changing it to keep him happy. If there was ever a situation to ride the fence, this is one of them. I don’t agree with shelling out more money for a guy already under contract to keep him happy. On the other hand, he makes the defense better.
If the Dolphins are trying to lower his cap hit this year and maybe throw more guaranteed money at him then this isn’t a bad thing. If this is simply to make him happy, well, then maybe it is. If the Dolphins do get a contract worked out for him, we can judge it when it is completed, at least for what might amount to two years before he wants it changed again.