Dolphins trade rumors: Miami open to moving All-Pro defender?

By Matt Johnson
Sep 8, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) is introduced before a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are enjoying a breakout season and the Tua Tagovailoa era is set to begin in Week 8, but another huge move could come at the NFL trade deadline.

Just a year after blockbuster trades sent Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans and Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers, another star could be on the trade block in Miami.

Dolphins rumors: Miami listening to trade offers for Xavien Howard

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Dolphins are taking calls from rival teams regarding Howard. If a club wants to add him to their defense, though, it will take a “Laremy Tunsil type” trade package.

Given Bill O’Brien is no longer running a team, it’s unlikely to happen. Miami received Houston’s 2020 and 2021 first- and second-round picks as the headliners in a package for Tunsil and receiver Kenny Stills.

Plenty of teams will be interested in Howard. The 27-year-old cornerback earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2018, finishing as the NFL’s co-interception leader (seven). The former second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft is just as sharp this season.

Even with Byron Jones sidelined, Howard is bringing stability to Miami’s secondary. He grades as the ninth-best cornerback this season, per Pro Football Focus, with only 12 receptions allowed in 212 coverage snaps.

Miami signed Howard to a five-year, $75 million contract extension. He got in legal trouble in December, facing charges for domestic battery. Ultimately, the charges were dropped and he avoided a suspension.

If teams aren’t willing to offer more than just a first-round pick, it would be wise for the Dolphins to keep Howard. He is an integral part of an impressive defense, which could play a significant role in this becoming a playoff team.