Why Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard likely isn’t going anywhere
Get out the felt tip marker — Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard is almost certainly not going anywhere. And he knows that, particularly after Brian Flores laid down the most definitive marker yet during his Friday [August 6] morning news conference.
Brian Flores reiterates stance to keep Xavien Howard
“We don’t want to trade X. write that down. He’s a very good player. He’s a big part of the team. We don’t want to trade him.”
Howard is unhappy with his contract and publicly requested a trade last month. The Dolphins have very little — if any — interest in accommodating him in the latter. But Flores continues to leave open the door to the former.
Flores stated on Friday, “Talks are progressing. You take from that what you want. These things take time but as long the lines of communication are open, as long as everyone is willing to compromise, we can get something done.”
Howard’s camp is not demanding a brand new contract. They just want an adjustment to a below-market deal that Howard signed before the 2019 season.
Howard’s biggest grievance is he’s not even the highest-paid corner on his team — that title belongs to Byron Jones — despite being a first-team All-Pro last year and tying the franchise record with 10 interceptions.
What is next for Xavien Howard and the Dolphins?
Howard has missed the last week of practice with a minor ankle injury. Flores said Howard would participate in Friday’s walkthrough, and the club expects to bring him to Chicago for next week’s joint practices with the Chicago Bears.
Howard’s absence has allowed the Dolphins to see what’s behind him on the depth chart. However, it hasn’t gone great. Miami’s offense has exposed some gaps in the back end.
The club hoped Noah Igbinoghene, a first-round pick in 2020, would be ready to step into a starting role. But that has not yet panned out. Instead, Nik Needham has worked mostly on the boundary alongside Byron Jones, with Justin Coleman working in the slot. Even Jason McCourty, who turns 34 next week, has received reps at corner.
According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have enough concerns about their depth at the position that they recently brought in four players for tryouts — Lafayette Pitts, Trevor Williams, Alexander Myers, K.J. Sails.
Flores wouldn’t shed any light on the Dolphins’ interest from other teams, but we hear that trade offers for Howard haven’t been robust enough to get them off their position.
Xavien Howard’s public statement regarding a trade
In July, Howard went public with his unhappiness with the organization in a lengthy statement posted to Instagram.
The closing passage read, “We wanted things to work out with the Dolphins, and brought solutions to the table — like guaranteeing more money — that we felt were win-wins for both sides. These were proposals of adjustments that wouldn’t just make me feel more respected but were also cap-friendly. But the Dolphins refused everything we proposed.
“That is why I don’t feel the organization has dealt with me in good faith. I don’t feel valued, or respected by the Dolphins. Just like they can take a business-first approach, so can I. That’s why I want to make it clear I’m not happy and have requested a trade.
“Until that trade happens I am just here so I don’t get fined, and will handle myself like professionals do.”