The Xavien Howard Situation Sucks

Growing up, you never even thought about player’s contracts or how much money an athlete was making. Like thinking about your future, it’s just something you never even wonder about. Your team has your favorite players and sometimes those players wind up on other teams and you just quickly move on from them. It’s a nice little brain trick you do that helps you not focus on the business side of sports. A more blissful world I cannot recall.

Then LeBron does the very popular The Decision and now the business side is almost the main side of sports. Yes, I realize free agency in sports was happening before 2010 so don’t waste your time siting all the times guys were traded or exercised their right to free agency. The point is Lebron, in my humble opinion, created the player “empowerment movement” that you hear from time to time.

But that’s the NBA, that can never happen in the NFL due to contracts not being fully guaranteed and just the nature of the sport itself right? Well holdouts have been happening for years and ever so recently some players, mainly quarterbacks have dipped their toes into the world of complaining so hard that they force their way out the town they’re in.

I figured it would only be quarterbacks that would have the power to share their frustrations publicly and potentially get moved mainly because they’re the ones with all the juice. But, and unfortunately for us Miami Dolphin’s fans, we are sort of dealing with it right now in terms of the Xavien Howard situation.

I say sort of because it’s not like Howard has come out and said that he’s not ever coming back to the Dolphins. But what is painfully apparent is that Howard is not happy with his contract. A contract he signed in the Summer of 2019, which was for five years, $72M with $39M of it being fully guaranteed. You look at that and your first reaction may be to be annoyed that Howard is causing problems when he just signed two years ago. I can’t even tell you you’re wrong to think that. I get why you would.

Then the Dolphins signed Byron Jones in 2020 to a five year $82M contract and it was probably at this point that Howard started feeling a bit TO’d (that’s ticked off not Terrell Owens’d for all you anti Napoleon Dynamite folks out there). Finally, if Howard wasn’t TO’d enough, Miami drafted Noah Igbinoghene or Iggy as I believe he likes to be called in the 1st round in 2020.

Howard certainly didn’t love all these moves that the Dolphins did and relayed that feeling on the Man to Man Pod with Darius Butler. Thank you Reason for cutting this up and for pretty much everything else you do.

Doesn’t sound like a guy who feels that appreciated.

A particular aspect that blows is what did Howard think was going to happen? Did he think the Dolphins were never going to sign any other top cornerbacks in the league or that they wouldn’t dare draft a corner in the 1st round while he was there? I mean was he alive when Stone Cold Brian Flores traded Minkah and Laremy? Don’t you think that after those two guys were jettisoned off the team that anyone could be moved at a moment’s notice? That’s on Howard for ever feeling like he couldn’t be moved. Not saying he did but he comes of as a guy who did, like he can’t be replaced.

And that’s what I thought when the Dolphins did draft Iggy. That he could potentially be a replacement for Howard if Howard gets hurt or pulls a move like he’s doing. Obviously, that isn’t the sole reason why Iggy was drafted but I think Flores and Grier play the long game with draft picks, as if they have their own time stone not located in the TVA of course, and see a future without certain big name guys. I think the same can be said for Hunter Long potentially being a replacement for Mike Gesicki.

The other side of this sucky situation is that I completely understand Howard’s side of it. You might be saying something cliché like “he signed a mega contract he should honor it” which undoubtedly is followed up with this classic “if he plays poorly can the team ask him to take less?” Or, my personal favorite of all the dumb things casuals say about millionaire athletes “I’d play the game for free.” To those alphas I say you’re an idiot if you would play the most dangerous sport outside of Jai Alai for no money. Remember folks, Netflix and wings on your Mazda Civic don’t pay for themselves. These players, especially cornerbacks have a very small window to make as most money as possible and I’m completely fine with any of them trying to squeeze out as much as they can. The rub is they have to live with a population of people calling them out for it. If they can live with that, do whatever you think you need to do.

So what will happen? I really don’t know. I don’t have any sources or anything like that but to me it appears that after reading reports that Howard is “dug in” to his position of wanting a raise, I’m putting it at a hard 62% that Xavien Howard will be traded before the season starts. My reasoning for this is I just think Flores and Grier will take another 1st round pick and will just wash their hands of this situation and move on.

My ideal scenario is that the two sides work it out and they end up giving Howard an incentive laced deal where he could make more money than Jones. I very much think Howard wants a Bret Hart leaving for WCW deal where Bret wanted his salary to be one penny more than Hulk Hogan. I think Howard would take a new contract as long as it’s one penny more than Byron Jones. But I just don’t think Howard will get offered either of these options. Hope I’m wrong.

I don’t think the reasoning to trade Howard will be because they don’t want to start a precedent of players of having excellent seasons and then asking for more money. I think that because no player on the Dolphins will probably ever be as good as Howard is. Don’t tell me that Jason Sanders can do it because he’s one of the best at his position. He’s a kicker. You can luck yourself into very good kickers at any time.

As a fan, this all sucks. Howard is the best player on the team and we want him to always be there. Unfortunately, that’s not how professional sports work. We can all give our thoughts about other players on other teams pulling moves like this but when it happens on your team it naturally hits harder. Just have to put your big boy pants on and maybe, if you’re a guy like me, have to take your Xavien Howard jersey to your parents house and place it with all the other past Miami Dolphin’s player’s jerseys. A sad day, but a day that is part of the cycle of being a fan. Have yourself a Friday.

By the Way- I doubt many will remember me but I’m Sern342 formerly of The Phinsider. I’m writing here now and I’m excited about it. Alright, like I said have yourself a splendid holiday weekend. I know I will.

Follow me @2ndSatSports

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