The ongoing dispute from cornerback Xavien Howard and the Dolphins does not have a clear and obvious end in sight. The Dolphins have too much control contractually of this situation for Howard to firmly squeeze himself into a new pay situation. There’s some hope that a deal can get done none the less: Howard is practicing lightly despite his request for a deal and there was even a concession yesterday from Howard that he’s here to avoid fines and would “hope” to find a deal with Miami.
But no firm progress exists according to Howard himself.
“I’m hearing this and hearing that but nothing is getting done right now. Right now, I’m just here – out here every day, supporting the team and out here working,” said Howard on Saturday.
According to a report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, however, there does appear to be at least some level of willingness for the Dolphins to add fine print to Howard’s deal. According to Jackson, the Dolphins have offered Howard more pathways to add income to his ledger based on his 2021 production. Alternatively, Howard would like a greater salary all together for the upcoming season or more guaranteed money in 2022.
“The Dolphins have offered Howard additional incentives but haven’t been willing to offer new guaranteed money; or guarantee 2022 money that’s not guaranteed; or move up 2024 money to 2021.” – Barry Jackson, Miami Herald
Miami’s stance for this entire situation makes it abundantly clear that the team is interested in paying Howard exclusively for his services going forward. Howard, on the other hand, clearly has some regrets about the deal he signed two years ago and (correctly) feels like his value hasn’t been equal to his pay; particularly in 2020. The Dolphins’ philosophy feels like it won’t easily be broken down by Howard and we’ve already seen the cornerback soften his public stance about the team and his situation within the first week of his public trade request.
If Miami does offer Howard some of the qualifiers he’s looking for to boost his salary, it will need to come from a place of goodwill. Because Miami doesn’t need to make any kind of move considering their leverage. But hearing from Jackson that the team has provided some incentive-based scenarios to Howard and is agent David Canter is a sign that cooler heads appear poised to eventually prevail here in Miami.