Xavien Howard has intercepted a pass in four straight games, and those four picks are tied for the NFL lead. The veteran cornerback has rebounded from an injury-marred 2019.
Although the Dolphins are 3-3, they have received trade inquiries on their standout corner. At least two teams have called the Dolphins about Howard, Barry Jackson and Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald report. While Howard would not mind being traded, according to the Herald, the Dolphins made the interesting move of sending out a statement they are not shopping him (Twitter link via Jackson).
Multiple other media outlets indicated the Dolphins were, in fact, entertaining offers for Howard. Considering the Dolphins are still in a rebuilding phase, having just given Tua Tagovailoa the reins, listening to proposals would make sense. The current regime, however, did extend Howard in April 2019. His $15MM-per-year deal runs through 2024. However, no guaranteed money remains on the contract after 2020. The Dolphins would take only a $4.1MM cap hit by trading the 27-year-old defender, who is due base salaries of $12.1MM and $12.4MM in 2021 and ’22. His 2023 and ’24 prices dip below $12MM, increasing potential trade value.
The Dolphins gave Byron Jones a then-cornerback-record contract in March and drafted Noah Igbinoghene in the first round a month later. The team has not been shy on dealing key players, with Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick being shipped out last year. No first-round pick would likely come Miami’s way in a Howard swap, though.
Howard, who missed 11 games last season, led the NFL with seven interceptions in 2018 and already has 16 picks in his four-plus-season career. In that span, only Titans safety Kevin Byard has more INTs.
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