With the news breaking Thursday night that Xavien Howard is now the highest paid cornerback in NFL history, the Miami Dolphins showed their willingness to pay their young stars big money when it is warranted, despite being bargain shoppers for much of this offseason.
Howard was tied for first in the NFL with 7 interceptions last season, and the team clearly sees him as an important piece for the team’s future, which is why this deal makes sense. With Howard entering his contract season, it was imperative that the team made a decision whether to extend him before he could text the market next offseason if they did not intend to trade him.
Recently the Dolphins have let players like Jarvis Landry and Olivier Vernon go after their contract seasons without getting any or as much value for them as they could have, had they made the decision not to keep them the season prior to them becoming eligible for free agency. This model clearly has not been a successful one, which is why I personally do not have a problem with the team paying Howard so handsomely now, as opposed to waiting to pay him next offseason with Jalen Ramsey also likely to be due for a big pay day.
I think this signing is also promising for a guy like Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins just picked up his 5th year option a few weeks ago, locking him down for 2020, but I expect there to be an extension in place by this time next season. Tunsil was one of the best offensive tackles in the league last season and is another young player at an important position on a team that does not have many superstar talents.
While there might not be any immediate desire to extend Tunsil now, I imagine the team does not want to be in a position where they are playing games in 2020 without an agreement in place so they are not repeating the same mistakes of years past.