Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard is one of several players to hold out from mandatory minicamp around the NFL. Howard’s situation, however, sounds like it could escalate much more quickly than most.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald believes Howard’s standoff with the Dolphins is likely to end with a trade. Salguero says the “next step” is a training camp holdout, and after that, Howard will either demand a trade or the Dolphins may make him available themselves.
Howard signed a new contract in 2019, which underlines the Dolphins’ reluctance to renegotiate. However, the team signed free agent Byron Jones a year later to an $82.5 million deal that includes nearly $20 million more in guaranteed money than Howard is getting. Despite that, it was Howard who outperformed Jones on the field in 2020, intercepting ten passes to Jones’ two and grabbing All-Pro honors.
Howard appears to be digging in by not showing up to minicamp, which is worrisome for Miami. The team has a lot of optimism surrounding it ahead of 2021. Howard is a big part of why the defense was poised to be a successful unit. If things don’t change and Miami can’t smooth things over, they could run into real issues on that side of the ball.