Tag Archives: Cornerback

Packers Prospects for the 2024 NFL Draft: Defense

Welcome back to part two of our look ahead at the Packers 2024 NFL draft. If you missed the first part of this series looking at the offensive players, check it out here! Today, it’s time to look at the players on defense the Packers may look at in the 2024 NFL draft.

This list will include players eligible for the 2024 NFL draft that fit those typical Packers thresholds. With this season being such a mystery, the list will be longer than usual; although, like my previous part, I will not be including players like Jared Verse or Kool-Aid McKinstry, because I don’t see any possibility of Green Bay drafting them. The players are also in no particular order.

Defensive line:

Credit: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With the four defensive linemen the Packers have drafted recently, I don’t think they draft one early, but you never know.

  • Ruke Orhorhoro – Clemson
  • Keith Randolph Jr. – Illinois
  • Tyleik Williams – Ohio State
  • Leonard Taylor – Miami
  • DeWayne Carter – Duke
  • Brandon Dorlus – Oregon
  • Darrell Jackson Jr. – FSU
  • Kris Jenkins – Michigan
  • Ty Hamilton – Ohio State
  • Maason Smith – LSU
  • J.J. Pegues – Ole Miss
  • Justin Eboigbe – Alabama
  • Alfred Collins – Texas
  • Jordan Kelley – Oklahoma
  • Patrick Jenkins – Tulane
  • John Tuitupou – Hawaii

Edge Rusher:

Credit: Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

This is another position that the Packers have invested in heavily recently. I don’t see them drafting one early, but they might take one later for depth.

  • J.T. Tuimoloau – Ohio State
  • Laiatu Latu – UCLA
  • Bralen Trice – Washington
  • Jack Sawyer – Ohio State
  • Trajan Jeffcoat – Arkansas
  • Rondell Bothroyd – Oklahoma
  • Jordan Burch – Oregon
  • Zion Tupuola-Fetui – Washington
  • Deontae Craig – Iowa
  • Cedric Johnson – Ole Miss
  • Isaac Ukwu – Ole Miss
  • RJ Oben – Duke
  • Ashton Gillotte – Louisville
  • Dayon Hayes – Pittsburgh
  • Jack Sullivan – USC
  • Van Fillinger – Utah
  • Abi Nwabuoku-Okonj – James Madison


Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Another position they have somewhat invested in lately. De’Vondre Campbell has a $14 million dollar cap hit in 2024 and he will be 31. They may still keep him, but I could see them moving on in 2025, which means they may be looking for his eventual successor.

  • Tommy Eichenberg – Ohio State
  • Curtis Jacobs – Penn State
  • Jestin Jacobs – Oregon
  • Junior Colson – Michigan
  • Jamon Dumas-Johnson – Geogia
  • Jackson Sirmon – Cal
  • Edefuan Ulofoshio – Washington
  • Geoff Cantin-Arku – Memphis
  • Travion Brown – ASU
  • Dallas Gant – Toledo
  • Marlowe Wax Jr. – Syracuse
  • Steele Chambers – Ohio State
  • Ben Bywater – BYU
  • Jamoi Hodge – TCU
  • Jack Kiser – Notre Dame
  • Nikhai Hill-Green – Charlotte
  • Easton Gibbs – Wyoming


Credit: David K Purdy/Getty Images

This group could be interesting, depending on what happens with Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas. Can Stokes get healthy and back to the way he played as a rookie? Do the Packers keep Douglas and his $11 million cap hit at 30 years old? Do they extend Keisean Nixon?

  • Fentrell Cypress II – Florida State
  • Shyheim Battle – NC State
  • T.J. Tampa – Iowa State
  • Cam Hart – Notre Dame
  • Duce Chestnut – LSU
  • Jahdae Barron – Texas
  • DJ James – Auburn
  • Jason Marshall Jr. – Florida
  • Denzel Burke – Ohio State
  • Trey Amos – Alabama
  • Deantre Prince – Ole Miss
  • AJ Woods – Pittsburgh
  • Max Melton – Rutgers
  • Decamerion Richardson – Mississippi State
  • Devin Kirkwood – UCLA
  • Alex Hogan – Houston
  • Quinyon Mitchell – Toledo
  • Marcus Banks – Mississippi State
  • Nicktroy Fortune – UTSA
  • Christian Roland-Wallace – USC
  • Storm Duck – Louisville
  • Noah Avinger – SDSU
  • Jakorey Hawkins – Wyoming
  • Micah Abraham – Marshall
  • Daquan Evans – USF


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This is obviously a major position of need. The only safety under contract for 2024 is Anthony Johnson Jr. and he was just a 7th round pick. While he looks like he has some potential upside, they still need to fill out the rest of the group — and will probably be replacing Darnell Savage. They will need at least one starter, if not two.

  • Kamren Kinchens – Miami
  • Andrew Mukuba – Clemson
  • Calen Bullock – USC
  • LaMiles Brooks – Georgia Tech
  • Rod Moore – Michigan
  • Tyler Nubin – Minnisota
  • Caelen Carson – Wake Forest
  • Patrick McMorris – Cal
  • Beau Brade – Maryland
  • MJ Griffin – Louisville
  • Kitan Oladapo – Oregon State
  • Seyi Oladipo – Boise State
  • Bud Clark – TCU
  • Dez Malone – San Diego State
  • Morice Norris – Fresno State
  • R.J. Mickens – Clemson
  • Cooper DeJean – Iowa
  • Kenny Logan – Kansas
  • DeShawn Gaddie Jr. – Ole Miss
  • Evan Williams – Oregon
  • Tra Fluellen – Middle Tennessee State
  • Jack Howell – Colorado State
  • Ayden Hector – Colorado State

As always, you can always view my database if you want a deeper dive on these and other NFL draft prospects.

2022 NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings 1.0

This is the first version of ATB Network’s 2022 NFL Draft cornerback rankings. This is another great year to get a corner if you need one. The group is strong at the top and pretty deep as well. A lot of them are big corners too, 5’11+ and 190+. The last few spots were difficult, which points to the depth of the class. Our most recent position ranking can be seen here: https://atbnetwork.com/2021/11/30/2022-nfl-draft-linebacker-rankings-1-0/

1. Andrew Booth – Clemson

Credit: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Booth is an elite athlete on the same level as Stingley. He is a bit rawer in that he is not a lockdown corner at this time. The potential is there for him to be elite. His zone coverage right now is ahead of his man cover skills. He also plays a physical game and is a willing hitter and tackler. Great size and bulk on him already. His instincts need to continue to develop.

2. Derek Stingley Jr – LSU

2022 NFL draft cornerback ranking
Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Elite size and athleticism for the position with massive amount of upside. He has smooth hips to turn and run. His best skill is his man cover and press ability. Ball skills are like a wide receiver. His play has been inconsistent the last two seasons. He also has had some injuries that need to be checked on. His zone cover skills still need a lot of work, but the potential is there.

3. Ahmad Gardner – Cincinnati

Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

“Sauce” has great size and solid athleticism. His man cover skills are elite. He has not given up a touchdown since his freshman year. His frame is a little on the thin side. He has amazing length for his size. Gardner is an excellent press corner. Plays a physical game in coverage and against the run.

With his physical play comes instances of him being a little too physical/grabby. A thin build that may give him problems against more physical receivers. His straight line speed is average which may cause issues against the faster receivers.

4. Kaiir Elam – Florida

2022 NFL draft cornerback ranking
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An elite size, speed player with good length. Big, strong and physical. His uncle is Matt Elam. He brings great ball skills to the field. He plays the run with out fear. Elam plays hard down in down out. His aggressiveness can get him in trouble at times. He has trouble with double moves. Elam’s agility is only average, and smaller quicker players have given him some trouble.

5. Roger McCreary – Auburn

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A good sized corner who has improved each season. His length is lacking a bit for his size. McCreary is another physical corner is this group. He has experience in both man and zone, but is at his best in man. Also he is a solid tackler. He shows fluid hips on film. He does have trouble getting off blocks. Zone coverage still needs some work. He just needs more experience to develop his field awareness.

6. Kyler Gordon – Washington

2022 NFL draft cornerback ranking
Credit: Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Gordon is another great athlete with great explosiveness and agility. He was listed on Feldman’s freak list and will probably have a high RAS score. Gordon has been solid in coverage and against the run, but still has a lot of room for growth. He shows fluidity and smooth hips in coverage. An aggressive tackler on film. He has shown better in zone than man right now. His instincts though are still a hair slow. He also can be a little out of control in his tackling.

7. Derion Kendrick – Georgia

Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

A major red flag from when he was at Clemson may take him off some teams boards. Kendrick is still a little raw having came to Clemson as a wide receiver. He is a solid overall athlete with good agility and explosion, long speed is just average. He shows good skills in zone. A willing tackler, but not the most physical tackler and run defender. His background as a receiver shows in his ball skills.

8. Trent McDuffie – Washington

2022 NFL draft cornerback ranking
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McDuffie like his teammate is a excellent athlete. He grades solid in both man and zone coverage. McDuffie is very fluid on film and does a good job of mirroring receivers. He plays best in zone coverage. While a good overall athlete he lacks elite athleticism, size and length. He plays hard and is a good tackler. Very similar to former Huskie Elijah Molden.

9. Alontae Taylor – Tennessee

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Taylor brings good size and length to the field. Taylor has solid experience in both man and zone., but does he best in man. His ball skills are ok, but could be better. He gives good effort as a tackler and against the run. Taylor still could improve in both those areas. Coverage grades have only been average. He still has upside if he can get better coaching.

10. Martin Emerson – Mississippi State

2022 NFL draft cornerback ranking
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Emerson is another corner with ‘protypical’ size at 6’2 200 and with long arms. He shows good awareness in coverage. Emerson is a tough and physical player. He has also shown to be a solid blitzer. He does struggle in his transitions, not the smoothest. Might move to safety. His straight line speed is just average. Emerson shows good ball skills on film. Backpedal is a bit too high, it looks like its due to him being high cut. Needs to refine the edges of his game.

The Early Bird List: Safety

This final list will focus on defensive backs. This years class looks strong at cornerback. With the safety class it could be pretty good if everyone shows improvements. There are a lot of young/inexperienced guys in this class that could take it to the next level.

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Jordan Battle (S) – Alabama

Two-year starter entering his third. Battle has solid size at 6’1 210 and is filled out. He is strong in coverage and against the run. Deconstructs blocks. Smooth hips and he has the speed to keep up with receivers down the field. Shows great leadership skills and an excellent communicator. Shows an ability to read the quarterback. His biggest strength is his versatility. He can line up anywhere. His tackling angles and form could use some work. Battle has good ball skills but could turn in more interceptions if he timed it a little better. He could also stand to show more aggression on the field.

Credit: Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Bubba Bolden (S) – Miami

Bolden is very talented. His change of direction skills are impressive. Although his straight line speed is just average. He has size at 6’2 205 and long arms. His long arms really help him in his tackling. Has experience lining up at free safety, in the slot, and on special teams. Bolden is a heavy hitter. His film is inconsistent. He has yet to have much ball production, but he has flashed production in coverage. Comes in out of control when trying to take down a ball carrier causing missed tackles.

Credit: Andrew Booth Jr./Instagram

Andrew Booth Jr (CB) – Clemson

Great cornerback size at 6’1 195. Booth is raw with only 4 games started in 2020, but He did play a lot before that. His athleticism is off the charts. His straight line speed may not be elite, but it is still better than average. Booth shows natural cover skills, although His route recognition skills still need work. Plays a physical game and is a willing tackler. Booth is not yet talk about much in the national media. With a big junior year he could really jump in the rankings. It might take him a couple years in the NFL to reach his potential. He could end up the #1 corner in the class.

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Lewis Cine (S) – Georgia

Cine has solid size at 6’1 200 with good all around athleticism. His speed is close to elite for a safety. Cine played has played mostly free safety. Super physical player and that shows in his hitting. Also an elite tackler. He needs work on his coverage skills. If that can be improved he will move up boards. He has a lot of potential to be an elite all around safety. Cine could easily play the dime safety/nickel linebacker role in the NFL. So far his ball skills have been lacking. Needs to try and play the ball more.

Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Kaiir Elam (CB) – Florida

Big size (6’2 195) with a lot of potential. His overall athleticism is very good. Explosive with quick hips. Has great football IQ. He does a good job at reading the quarterback and anticipating the receivers route. Elam’s ball skills while not elite are solid. The current gator plays an all around physical game, and he likes to play bump and run. His long speed is just average. Elam also needs to improve his tackling technique. His footwork could also use some work. He could challenge for the #1 corner spot in the draft. Definite 1st rounder.

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Ahmad Gardner (CB) – Cincinnati

Gardner has great height at 6’2, but only weights 188. His frame though looks like it could hold another 10 pounds though. Gardner has vines for arms, which allows him to affect the receiver and gets his hands on more balls. He has been a starter since his freshman season. Athletically he is solid overall, but not the elite level that some of the other guys in the class are. He is more fluid than freak athlete. Gardner also shows excellent burst on the field. Aggressive and solid tackler. With that being said sometimes his aggressiveness can get the better of him. He also has trouble getting off blocks. That maybe be due to a lack of bulk. Due to his average athleticism he will have to improve and stay on top of his technique.

Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Kyle Hamilton (S) – Notre Dame

Hamilton is the top safety in the class and its doubtful that still wont be the fact when the 2022 draft comes around. Elite size at 6’4 220 but with the athleticism of someone three inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter. His range and athleticism is off the charts. Fluid and explosive. Elite ball skills with the length to impact the passing game even if he doesn’t come down with the ball. He can come down and cover receivers or tight ends in the slot. Even with his long lanky frame he is an excellent tackler. Hamilton is a little high hipped which can cause some issues with his transitions. He has also had a couple injuries that should be checked into.

Credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Daxton Hill (S) – Michigan

Hill is a little small at 6’0 190-ish. He could stand to pack on around 10 pounds of muscle just so he can handle the riggors of the NFL. Hill is an elite athlete. He ran a 4.3 and had a 43 inch vertical coming out of high school. Hill has the upside to be an elite free safety, but he is still raw. He shows good tackling form on film. Also shows great range and ball skills. He played a lot of special teams early in his career. Despite his size he has shown good skills in deconstructing blocks. He has solid man to man skills and can be lined up in the slot. The current Wolverine has good length for having average height. He has only started 9 games in his career and that shows in some of his under-developed skills. Hill has flashed but needs to turn those flashes into consistency. He could really move up if he does that.

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Josh Jobe (CB) – Alabama

Jobe has solid size at 6’0 195. He does have good length and wingspan though. Three year starter who has been a good starter that has gone under the radar. Jobe plays a physical game. He likes to play up at the line of scrimmage. Smooth hips in coverage. He could stay lower in his back pedal. Uses the sideline in coverage well. Solid hitter and tackler. Willing against the run game. Only has played on the perimeter. He does not have experience in the slot. Jobe is a little bit of an older prospect ( will be 24 as a rookie). He has a habit of getting grabby with receivers. His feet also can be a bit choppy, and some teams may see him more as a safety. He has experience on special teams which helps a lot. Jobe probably needs a year before he’s ready to start.

Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Brandon Joseph (S) – Northwestern

Solid size at 6’1 192. Great length for his size. Joseph has wide receiver like ball skills, with 6 interceptions in 9 games as a first year starter. He should still add some muscle to his frame and get around 200+. Joseph will only be a redshirt sophomore so he could end up returning. He is also raw only having one season as a starter. He is a willing tackler and is not afraid to stick his nose in the run game. Does come down out of control sometimes, he needs to work on his form and keeping in control of his body. Joseph also has had some work in the slot. Seems like he has the instincts of a three year starter. He already shows good skills in both man and zone coverage.

Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Derion Kendrick (CB) – Georgia

Major backround/off the field issues that need to be looked into. Transferred from Clemson after being dismissed for off the field issues. He was also arrested in 2021. Kendrick does have good size at 6’0 190. His frame looks like it could handle a few more pounds as well and he could use more strength. Kendrick is still raw as a prospected due to limited experience at corner. Great ball skills for a former wide receiver. His tackling could use some work; the effort is there its mostly technique. Has the size, length, hips, and feet to be an excellent corner. His straight line speed is average. Kendrick feels more comfortable in zone versus man. He could be a boom or bust prospect depending on his off the field issues.

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Trent McDuffie (CB) – Washington

He is a well put together 5’11 195. McDuffie is quick, fluid, and explosive. He is also a strong physical tackler. Shows natural football instincts. Shows an ability to force turnovers on film. Very good in press coverage. While his size is decent his length is some what lacking, causing him issues in deconstructing blocks. McDuffie’s ball production is very minimal which speaks to his lack of length. He may never have much ball production. He still needs work in zone. Could be a real solid slot corner.

credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Nehemiah Pritchett (CB) – Auburn

2020 was his first season as a starter. Pritchett has good height and length at 6’1 but a bit on the small side at 180. Good overall athlete with loose hips. On film he has shown good man coverage skills. Willing and good tackler for his size. He has played well against the run as well. Still a bit raw with his first year as a starter coming last season. Can get a little grabby down the field. So far he has been best in press coverage. Zone is a bit of a weakness for him. Pritchett has a lot of upside and could move up the boards if he has a big season.

Credit: David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Derek Stingley Jr (CB) – LSU

Stingley came in as a freshman and looked like a three year starter. He has great size at 6’1 195. Great length and elite athleticism. Another explosive corner in this class. Elite at mirroring receivers. Stingley puts his experience at wide receiver to use with his ball skills. He can play both zone and man. Also he can play press and off. Like a lot of college corners he can get handsy at times. He has great footwork for someone so inexperienced at corner. Good tackling skills, could show a little more aggression. He could also stand to play a little more aggressive. Going into the 2021 season he is being looked at as the #1 corner in the class. He will probably maintain it.

Courtesy of Miami Herald

Xavien Howard Requests Trade

Courtesy of Miami Herald

BREAKING NEWS: Miami Dolphins star cornerback Xavien Howard requests trade.

With the day starting on a positive note after Xavien Howard arrived at training camp, things have sure taken a turn for a worse. This evening Xavien Howard, a finalist for DPOY coming off a career season, has put the Dolphins on notice of his intention to be traded.

Such breaking news comes off the back of weeks of speculation as to Howard’s stance after held out of mandatory minicamp in June. In his post, Howard highlights the proposed solutions that many fans thought possible, including more guaranteed money providing better job security past this season. Nevertheless, it seems Chris Grier was firm in his stance after signing Howard to an extension only in May 2019.

Head Coach Brian Flores has always spoken about Howard with the highest admiration, acknowledging the value he brought to the team.

If Xavien Howard is traded he will carry a dead cap of $1.4m against the 2021 cap, with savings of $12.1m. The question now falls to when the Dolphins will trade X, to who and for what compensation? Check out Tanner Elliott’s article as to potential trade suitors. The New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys have been some of the loudest rumors, only time will tell before we know whether such rumors materialize.

Knowing the kind of coach that Brian Flores is, such news and distractions at the very start of camp will inevitably irritate him, and if the situation is beyond repair, the Dolphins may be wise to trade Howard over the next week. Furthermore, the Dolphins front office have not been shy to trade away players in the past following discontent with the organisation. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kiko Alonso being the prime examples.

The question on everybody’s mind over the past weeks has now become a reality. What are the Dolphins going to do without Xavien Howard? Who is the heir apparent? Byron Jones is now inevitably CB 1. The question is who steps up? Training camp has just gotten a lot more interesting. Fins Up!

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What to do with Xavien Howard

On June 15th, all Miami Dolphins players and coaches reported to mandatory minicamp; well, all players with the exception of All-Pro CB and 2020 INT leader Xavien Howard. It became clear early on in the day that he wouldn’t be showing up due to what Coach Brian Flores called “a contract situation.”

Howard was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL draft by Miami, but his rookie year was plagued by injuries. He won the battle for the second starting position opposite veteran Byron Maxwell, but missed weeks 5-14 after reaggravating the knee injury he had in training camp. In 7 games, he ended with 40 tackles, 6 PBU’s, and a forced fumble.

The Dolphins knew they had a potential star in him after that season, although he needed to improve.

In his second season, he started to gain some notoriety when he took over as the starting cornerback. In Week 13, he picked off Trevor Siemian twice, with one being a Pick 6.

Week 14 was his coming out party as he picked off Tom Brady twice on National TV. He won AFC Defensive Player of the Week. After having 7 interceptions in 12 games in 2018, Miami decided to pay their star CB.

 In May of 2019, he signed a 5 year, $75.25 million contract with $39 million total guaranteed. He only played 5 games that season before Miami placed him on the PUP list with another knee issue. After returning to full health in 2020, Howard exploded with 51 tackles, 20 PBU’s, and a league leading 10 interceptions.

So the question is: Why ask for an extension now?

It’s rare to see a player holdout for a new contract or renegotiated deal just 2 years after signing a deal this long; however, in Xavien Howard’s case it is understandable, yet unprecedented.

When Xavien Howard signed his 5 year deal in 2019, the deal made him the highest paid DB in football at the time. Just 2 seasons later, he’s just the 6th highest paid at his position. Considering he’s widely regarded as top-3 at his position and lead all DB’s in interceptions (10) and passes defended (20), it isn’t shocking he would ask for a new contract.

Considering his first 2 years on the contract was frontloaded with guaranteed money with the last three years being chump change.

Howard may also just want to be the highest paid corner on the team, ahead of his fellow starting cornerback Byron Jones.

Jones had a PFF grade of 63.7, whereas Xavien Howard earned a grade of 87.3 . Howard currently makes about $1.5million less than Jones per year despite leading Jones in FF’s, PBU’s, INT’s, tackles, and catch%. Howard was also selected as first team All-Pro.

The third issue is guaranteed money. With 4 years remaining on his new contract, Howard only has $12 million left in guarantees. With Howard having a history of knee issues, it isn’t surprising he’d try to collect more guaranteed money.

Three Ways about it

Assuming the contract holdout is being caused by one of those three reasons, there are really only three things the Dolphins can do. They can restructure his deal now and pay him more starting in 2021, they can agree to play out the 2021 season and reevaluate next offseason, or they can trade him.

Extend Howard in the offseason

If Miami does decide to pay Howard more this season, they could give him a raise and convert much of it into a signing bonus. This would decrease his base salary, and the cap hit could drop from $13.5 million to $13.2 million. This would likely end up being a win-win situation. By giving him a signing bonus, they could make Howard the higher paid player among him and Byron Jones, which would be unprecedented leading to other players asking for more. For Miami, it would slightly help the cap situation which may ultimately come in handy with players like Mike Gesicki and Emmanuel Ogbah in line for paydays.

Play and re-evaluate

Playing out the 2021 season and reevaluating next season is more team friendly. With the salary cap being $182.5 million in 2021 and set to increase to $208.2 million in 2022, Miami would have a lot more flexibility in paying Howard and keeping other players.

This also gives Miami a lot more time to weigh other options and figure out other player’s contracts before Howard. With Howard showing no signs of returning, playing out the 2021 season with no change isn’t seeming likely. The Dolphins are adamant on keeping Howard in Miami, and taking a risk of souring the relationship but not paying him this season would not make sense for the Dolphins.

Trade and collect assets.

No Dolphins fan wants to believe this is a possibility. Luckily for those fans, it’s the least likely option as of now. In October, a team with interest in Howard called Miami, but those talks were shut down quickly.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Miami would need a “Laremy Tunsil type of offer” to consider trading him. If the team were to consider a trade at this time, they have plenty of leverage and no reason not to get close to a Tunsil like offer.

Howard is coming off a career year and All-Pro selection, played his first full season, and they have him under contract for 4 more years. However, even if they can get an offer like that, Miami would rather not have to get to that point.

We’re going to have to wait and find out what happens over the course of the next few months, but at this moment, a trade seems the least likely.

Most likely Miami could find a way to up Howard’s money for 2021 while simultaneously creating more space for the future, likely via signing bonus. Keeping the team’s best player happy until 2022 when the cap significantly increases and they can renegotiate then seems like Miami’s best option at this point. 

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