Done Deal: Dolphins Retain Xavien Howard

Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

BREAKING NEWS: The Miami Dolphins and Xavien Howard have agreed to a restructured deal.

Nearly two weeks after requesting a trade out of Miami, the Dolphins front office and Xavien Howard have finally reached a suitable compromise. On Instagram Xavien Howard stated that he did not feel like the organisation was dealing with him in good faith, like he was not respected or valued. However, we know this was not the case. as Brian Flores has continued to state his love for Howard and his desire to keep him on the team. As a result, Chris Grier has since ensured that Howard will remain an integral part of this team.

Many fans were left puzzled as to why the deal was not reached sooner. Reports surfaced that all Howard had asked for was an extra $4 million in 2021. A reasonable price to keep All-Pro elite talent on the team trying to build off the back of a successful 2020 campaign. Instead Chris Grier continues to prove his worth as a GM.

The restructured deal is heavily incentive based for 2021, a solution that was very popular amongst fans. The key factor with Xavien Howard has always been keeping him on the field. When he is healthy, there is no disputing his production. Chris Grier was not simply just going to add more money on to Howard’s contract for him to then be injured.

An incentive laden restructure strikes the perfect balance in keeping Howard happy, while managing the reduced cap in 2021. The exact details as to what incentives are included in the deal are at present unknown.

Going Forward:

What this re-worked deal means going forward beyond this season remains to be seen. $6.775 million of Howard’s 2022 contract is already guaranteed for injury with his full salary fully guaranteed on the first league day in 2022.

It is important to note that even if Howard achieves all of his incentives under his contract he will be earning $16.2 million in 2021, while Byron Jones receives $16.1 merely for being on the roster. Prior to restructure, Howard was only due $12 million in 2021. While the deal is a very important development for the Dolphins prospects this season, it is very likely that next offseason could be filled with more of the same drama. Brace yourself.

The attention now turns to Howard’s health and fitness going forward into training camp. Following his trade request Howard has since been suffering from a slight ankle injury to which his status is still day to day. How serious the injury has been is open to question. However, Howard did line up opposite Byron Jones in Saturday’s practice as a show of good faith to the organisation. The Dolphins will continue to have one the best secondaries in the league. Fins Up!

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