Dolphins HC Brian Flores told reporters this morning at the start of Miami’s mandatory minicamp that CB Xavien Howard was not expected to attend.
“I’m not sure he’s going to be here today. I expect him to be here today. It’s pretty clear this is a contract situation,” he said via Joe Schad.
Howard just signed an extension in 2019 that at the time made him the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback at just over $15 million a year.
Howard has been a legitimate candidate for defensive player of the year the past two seasons and is using that leverage to seek a raise.
However, it’s exceedingly rare for teams to rework contracts with four years remaining like Howard’s, and Flores pointed that out.
“This hasn’t been done before. Not saying we’re drawing a line in the sand here…we love X. Let me go ahead and say that. We love him. He’s very productive. A team player. Important player on this team but again, unique situation. We want to keep him here…,” he said via Michael Giardi.
Howard, 27, is a former second-round pick of the Dolphins back in 2016. He was in the final year of his four-year, $6,128,038 rookie deal and set to make a base salary of $1,285,641 for the 2019 season when he agreed to a five-year, $76.5 million extension that included $46 million guaranteed with Miami.
Howard is set to make base salaries of $12.075 and $12.375 million over the next two seasons.
In 2020, Howard appeared in all 16 games for the Dolphins and recorded 51 tackles, one forced fumble, 10 interceptions and 20 pass defenses. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 2 corner out of 121 qualifying players.
We’ll have more on Howard as the news is available.