Miami Dolphins: Top 5 moves made during the off season

Tyreek Hill
Tyreek Hill /
3 of 5
Miami Dolphins
Xavien Howard Miami Dolphins (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

3. The Miami Dolphins pony up the extra cash for Xavien Howard

There are mixed feelings about Xavien Howard and how he has handled his contract situation over the years. But there should be no discussion about his importance to the Dolphins on the defensive side of the ball.

Howard is the superstar on what has been one of the better defenses in the league over the past couple of seasons. He was robbed of a Defensive Player of the Year award in 2020 when he had 10 interceptions and 20 passes defended, leading the league in both categories.

In 2021, his interception total dropped to 5, but Howard’s presence made a huge difference in multiple games. Most importantly, it was his forced fumble in Week 1 against the Patriots that won the game for the Dolphins. With 3:30 left and New England driving for a go-ahead score and within field goal range in a one point game, Howard forced a fumble from Damien Harris and recovered it himself. It sealed the victory for Miami, the only one they’d get in the first eight games of the season.

It is plays like that that make Xavien Howard worth the contract extension that was given to him on April 1st, one that will tie him to the Dolphins for another five years. He was unhappy last season with being the second-highest paid cornerback on his own team, and reports were that he felt similar when Tyreek Hill got his pay day.