As we sit in early July, the Xavien Howard situation is front and center on the minds of Miami Dolphins fans all around the world. Will he or won’t he show up for training camp? Will he or won’t he be on the field in Week 1 of the NFL season when Miami travels to Foxborough to take on the Patriots. Will he or won’t he be traded at some point?
A lot of questions and no answers at this moment in regards to the Xavien Howard situation. That’s right, the situation. And for those who have been living under a rock or don’t fully grasp the situation, let’s make it clear what the situation is.
On May 9, 2019, Xavien Howard signed a 5 year, $75.25 million contract extension with the Miami Dolphins. With $27.1 million guaranteed at signing and $46 million in total guarantees. (Numbers provided by ProFootballTalk.com)
At the time, this made Xavien Howard the highest-paid cornerback in the league now; in 2021, Xavien Howard isn’t the highest-paid cornerback on his own team and the 6th highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. And Xavien is unhappy about this and wants his contract re-negotiated.
And because of that, Xavien held out of mandatory minicamp in June, and it is unclear if he will show up for training camp or the start of the 2021 NFL season.
So, who will blink first? Do the Dolphins cave or will Xavien show up and play under his current contract?
The situation the Dolphins are faced with is if they cave and rip up Howard’s deal and give him a new contract, it sets a bad precedent in that it shows other players and agents that if you play for the Dolphins, the contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on and after a good season you can whine and complain and get a better deal out of them.
That would open pandora’s box and something the Dolphins want to avoid. Being an ATM for every player on the roster when they feel like they are being “disrespected” by their contract or outplayed their current contract.
Let me backtrack for a second and focus on the word “precedent” because that has been thrown around a lot regarding this matter. The Dolphins don’t want to set a “precedent” by giving into Howard here as it will be a bad look and open up a can of worms they may not be able to control down the road.
And I agree it would be a horrible look. It really would be on all levels. But I think fans and the media are looking at this from the wrong angle. This isn’t the “precedent” Dolphins fans, and the media should be looking at right now.
I think the Dolphins set a precedent a couple of years back when they traded an unhappy Minkah Fitzpatrick after 2 games in 2019, his second season in the NFL. The organization gave in making that trade because Minkah was unhappy and didn’t want to be here.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) June 30, 2021
So, if Xavien Howard is unhappy with his situation in Miami (basically his money situation), then the organization may be following the precedent they set with the Minkah Fitzpatrick situation of just moving on from a disgruntled and unhappy star player.
The situations are different yet similar at the end of the day. Xavien Howard wants more money, and Minkah Fitzpatrick was unhappy with his role on the field and with the coaching staff. The end result is both players were unhappy regardless of how they got to that unhappy place.
Chris Grier and Brian Flores decided it was better to move on from Minkah even though it meant losing a great player in the secondary and was hurting the team and on the field. They decided that outweighed having someone on the roster who was clearly unhappy and didn’t want to be there.
Could they follow that blueprint again with Xavien Howard?
The precedent they set with Minkah tells me that may be how this entire situation eventually plays out in the end.
Let me be clear; I am in no way advocating the Dolphins trade Howard. Losing him makes the team worse on the field. Losing him hurts their chances of winning games and making the playoffs in 2021. In a perfect world, the Dolphins and Howard work something out to make this matter go away.
But, the precedent set in Miami in 2019 with the Minkah Fitzpatrick situation was, if you are unhappy, voice your displeasure and make it known to the world you are unhappy. Then Chris Grier and Brian Flores will accommodate you, remove you from the organization, and send you packing.
So I think fans and the media shouldn’t be looking at a new precedent the Dolphins may set, but rather should be looking at a former precedent they set in 2019 with how this all may play out.
Will Grier and Flores follow that precedent they set in 2019? That is the answer we wait for.
Get rid of that diva ! Too much money and too much headache. X has bad knees, history of off field issues, and he won’t have 10 Ints again, come on now. Go and trade him for a first and an RB and get it done. Jacksonville is the ideal spot. Get a high pick, J. Robinson, RB and do it. Time for Ighbo, Needham and McCourty to step up, and just be decent in 2021. Phins can use the pick next draft for a highly rated CB. The real improvement of the team will and must come from Tua and the offense this year anyway, mitigating any shortfall on defense that may come vs last year and the departure of X. He is overpaid as is and wants more after he signed his contract ? Nope. Get riiiiiiiiid of him.
I agree, when he got hurt did the team demand a percentage of his salary back for each game ? No !
Players should think about that before demanding a new contract or a lot more money after a great year. Then the team could demand a new contract after a not so good year, how is the taste of the shoe on the other foot??????
I think you are missing one key point of the Minkah situation that is not in play with Xavien….
At the time they traded Minkah, they were already in the middle of a firesale to collect as much Draft Capital as they could collect to rebuild the team with. They had already traded away Tunsil.
And that probably contributed to Fitzpatrick’s unhappiness since all the talk was about Tanking for Tua!
What is probably more at play here is the PATRIOT WAY of thinking in our front office…
Imagine Xavien playing the same game with Belichick, He would have been traded already, or ignored since he really has no leverage other than holding out and in this case he would have to hold out for the next few years which should be his prime production years…
No way he would do that considering he wouldn’t get any money while holding out and his value would decrease after every game he missed.
I fully expect that he will try to play this game and even demand a trade to try and get what he wants but that doesn’t mean we have to trade him. If I were Grier I would say go find a team that wants to pay you what you think you are worth and give up two first round picks and we will be happy to accommodate you.
That should sober him and his new agent up to the point that they will either wait till next year to get a raise or be dumb and holdout for a year and put the season he wants to cash out on a year in the rearview mirror so it’s not worth as much.
If he is demanding a new contract because of last year and his contract structure, then should the Phins demand a new lower contract if he doesn’t have another great year? He didn’t lose any paychecks when he was injured and could not play either did he. Mr. Howard suck it up like a man and play for what you signed for.