As the contract standoff between the Miami Dolphins and star cornerback Xavien Howard continues, his name will continue to persist in NFL trade rumors.
That was magnified once Miami reported to camp. While Howard was with the rest of his teammates, the All-Pro cover guy officially requested a trade from the Dolphins. Below, we look at five ideal Xavien Howard trade scenarios heading into the 2021 NFL season.
Xavien Howard becomes Dallas Cowboys X-factor in wide-open NFC East
- Dolphins get: 2022 first-round pick, Tony Pollard, 2023 fifth-round pick
- Cowboys get: Xavien Howard
It’s anyone’s guess who will win the NFL’s worst division. The Washington Football Team got the job done with a 7-9 record and myriad of different starting quarterbacks in 2020. Their elite defense carried them to the crown.
But now that Dak Prescott is back under center for Dallas and fully paid, the Cowboys need to go all-in. Prescott should have the offense among the NFL’s elite, so it’s imperative for America’s Team to do all it can to upgrade the defense.
Counting on a second-round rookie in Kelvin Joseph to hold down a cornerback spot and play at Howard’s level is unrealistic. There’s an obvious opportunity for the Cowboys to get better at a key position, and if it means parting with some assets like a Day 1 draft pick and Ezekiel Elliott’s exceptional backup Tony Pollard, it’s worth the cost.
Dallas has its fair share of salary cap woes in the coming years, yet with enough contract restructures, Jerry Jones can fit in a worthwhile Howard contract extension.
Arizona Cardinals keep up aggressive talent acquisition in Xavien Howard trade
- Dolphins get: 2022 first-round pick, Andy Isabella, 2023 fourth-round pick
- Cardinals get: Xavien Howard
It’s an arms race of talent acquisition in the NFC West. Already the clear-cut best division in football, the four-team cluster got even better when the Los Angeles Rams traded for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Although Arizona has to feel good about its own signal-caller in Kyler Murray, there’s a reason the Cardinals went so heavy on defense once the 2020 campaign ended. They spent a first-round pick on versatile linebacker Zaven Collins, and acquired J.J. Watt in free agency.
With rookie Rondale Moore expected to take on a prominent role in the Cardinals’ passing game, Isabella becomes expendable. He’d be great insurance for a Dolphins receiving corps that’s among the NFL’s most injury-prone between DeVante Parker, Will Fuller and Preston Williams. Even Jaylen Waddle is coming off an abbreviated season at Alabama.
Howard would do wonders for an Arizona defense that looks strong across the front seven, yet needs some help on the back end to avoid falling behind in a division that also features Seattle and San Francisco.
New York Jets manage a rare in-division trade for Xavien Howard
- Dolphins get: 2022 first-round pick, 2023 conditional third-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick, Jamison Crowder
- Jets get: Xavien Howard
Heading to an even bigger media market with the chance to stick it to his former team twice per year has to be an appealing scenario for Xavien Howard. The Jets are also one of the few teams with the salary cap space going forward to pay Howard what he wants.
Jamison Crowder already took a pay cut to stay in New York, yet if the opportunity to acquire Howard presented itself, you can bet Gang Green would pounce on it. Crowder is a key veteran for young Jets team, but he’d be taking away valuable snaps from rookie Elijah Moore, who should just get on the field right away with Zach Wilson.
The incredible offer here proves too tempting for Dolphins GM Chris Grier to pass up. Heck, if Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t work out at quarterback, Miami might be able to use its AFC East rival’s first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to upgrade the most important position on the field.
See? There’s a scenario in which this is a win-win for both sides, despite how reticent both front offices might be to even engage in negotiations.
Xavien Howard transforms Las Vegas Raiders defense in blockbuster trade
- Dolphins get: 2022 first-round pick, 2023 second-round pick
- Raiders get: Xavien Howard
Just a slight variation on the Niners’ offer, because it’ll probably cost the Raiders a little extra to keep Howard in the AFC, as opposed to him going out of conference.
Las Vegas did sign Casey Hayward to shore up the cornerback position this offseason, yet he was cast aside by the Los Angeles Chargers. He might not be the player the Silver and Black hope he is. There’s no more time to mess around and pray young players will come through and Hayward will bounce back.
New Orleans Saints make blockbuster trade for Xavien Howard
- Dolphins get: 2022 first-round pick, Marcus Davenport
- Saints get: Xavien Howard
It’s no secret that New Orleans has been in the market for an upgrade at cornerback. The team must do everything possible to make up for what promises to be some shortcomings on offense, including the recent Michael Thomas’ injury news.
Fresh off selecting edge rusher Payton Turner in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, New Orleans has the capability to move off Davenport in a trade. Adding Howard to the mix to go with Lattimore, Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins in the secondary would be huge.