The Miami Dolphins’ dispute with cornerback Xavien Howard has made no formal progress since the start of training camp, with the All-Pro defender publicly declaring he’s asked for a trade from Miami. The root of the issue for Howard is a perceived lack of disrespect — Howard claims that the Dolphins have not dealt with him in good faith and as a result he’d like to find a new opportunity to play elsewhere.
But the Dolphins, with four years remaining on Howard’s contract, have plenty of leverage and seem intent to smooth things over with their best player. And Howard’s actions since asking a trade haven’t necessarily suggested he’s taken a hardline stance about his future with Miami; a trend that continued on Saturday when Howard put back on the pads and strapped up for practice after missing this past week due to what is being described as a “minor” ankle injury.
Howard’s return to the practice field could be a step in the right direction towards both sides finally figuring out an arrangement and compromise that helps both sides.
Dolphins are in pads today again and CB Xavien Howard is among them so it seems as if he intends to practice.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) August 7, 2021
Miami has the financial wiggle room to accommodate Howard; be it through more guaranteed salary, an increase in base salary or added incentives for Howard on the field. And any settlement between the two sides will likely need to include multiple of these avenues of compensation — Miami seems dug in out of principle in not simply pushing a bunch of cash into Howard’s 2021 pay and instead appear to be taking a negotiating tactic that offers to pay Howard for his production moving forward: not helping him recoup what Howard may feel is under-compensation from 2020.
We’ll see if Howard strings together multiple practices for the Dolphins. And if he does, one would assume it bodes well for Miami finally giving Howard what he wants: better compensation for the year ahead.
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