Dolphins CB Xavien Howard requests trade: 'I'm not happy'

·3-min read

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard arrived at training camp on Tuesday despite being deeply unhappy with his contract. While he decided against holding out, he made it clear on Tuesday night — mere hours after reporting to camp — that he wants out of Miami as soon as possible. 

Howard posted his trade request on Instagram, revealing that negotiations with the Dolphins on a reworked contract had gone nowhere. 

I've given my heart and soul to the Miami Dolphins franchise since they drafted me in 2016, and I want to make it clear that I love my teammates. 

They are my family. But what I've learned is that the business side of the NFL proves organizations don't always have a player's best interest at heart.

My experience with the Dolphins the past few seasons has taught me that. In 2018 I signed an extension that I'll admit I didn't completely understand, or feel comfortable with.

I've played on that deal for two seasons and didn't complain, but everyone knows I've significantly outperformed that deal. 

I'm one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, and the tape backs up that claim. The assignments I'm given, shadowing the opposition's best player with little help, proves my value, my worth. Yet, I'm the second highest paid cornerback on my own team, and it's not even close.

I want to clear up a few misconceptions about my situation. My agent David Canter and I have never once asked for a completely new contract. 

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. There 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.

DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 22:  Xavien Howard #25 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates his interception during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on November 22, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard wants to be traded. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Howard not happy with his contract

Howard, 28, signed a five-year, $75.25 million contract with the Dolphins in 2019. His average yearly salary is just over $15 million, sixth highest among NFL quarterbacks, but due to the structure of the deal, he's making just over $12 million in 2021. 

Since Howard signed on the dotted line, he's consistently outperformed his contract. Last year he led the league in interceptions (10, the most in the NFL since 2007) and passes defended (20). He also earned his first All-Pro selection in 2020. 

Part of Howard's beef is that despite being the best cornerback on the Dolphins and one of the best in the league, he's not even the highest paid cornerback on the team. That honor goes to Byron Jones, who signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract in 2020.

Howard didn't show up to mandatory minicamp in June, and was fined $93,000. He's at training camp now, but he made it clear that he's only there so he doesn't get fined. 

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