Asking price in Xavien Howard trade revealed, several teams interested in blockbuster

There’s a decent chance that the Miami Dolphins will pull off an Xavien Howard trade between now and the start of the 2021 NFL season in September.

The reigning NFL interceptions leader has remained away from off-season activities and wants a new contract after signing a five-year, $75.25 million extension back in May of 2019. For their part, the Dolphins have pushed back against an extension — leading to the possibility of a blockbuster trade.

According to NFL Media’s Mike Silver, the cost of acquiring Howard is at least a first-round pick and a willingness to sign him to an extension. Silver expanded on that report a bit, indicating that several teams are interested in Howard.

“There are several teams, all in win-now mode, pondering such a move. If no one steps up to meet Miami’s price, Howard (who skipped the offseason program) could try to force the issue by holding out of training camp. He could be fined $50,000 a day in that scenario. Stay tuned,” the NFL insider noted.

Potential Xavien Howard contract extension

In terms of average annual salary, Howard ranks sixth among cornerbacks — right behind teammate Byron Jones.

  • Jalen Ramsey, Los Angeles Rams ($20 million)
  • Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore Ravens ($19.5 million)
  • Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills ($17.25 million)
  • Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles ($16.68 million)
  • Byron Jones, Miami Dolphins ($16.5 million)
  • Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins ($15.05 million)

As you can see, there’s a pretty big quagmire for the Dolphins here. They now boast two of the six highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. That’s not an ideal situation.

As for Howard, he’s justified in wanting a raise. This past season saw the former Baylor star lead the NFL in passes defended (20) and interceptions (10). It was the second time in three years that the cornerback led the league in picks after he recorded seven back in 2018. He’s probably looking at $19 million annually on an extension.

Xavien Howard trade destinations

xavien howard trade rumors
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We focused earlier this offseason on three teams who might make the most sense for the All-Pro cornerback. That list included the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks.

Now with training camps getting going here soon, it’s pretty much going to be all about cap situations for individual teams.

The New York Jets have the most cap room at $35.33 million. They also boast the draft capital to pull off an Xavien Howard trade. With that said, New York is in the initial stages of a rebuild and is not going to give up a first-round selection. Heck, would Miami even move Howard to a division rival?

Among the other teams with the cap room to not only acquire Howard but sign him to an extension, the Los Angeles Chargers might make sense. They surprisingly released former Pro Bowler Casey Hayward earlier in the offseason and have a need in the defensive secondary.

Of course, other squads without a ton of room can create flexibility by either releasing a player or restructuring contracts.

As Silver noted in his report, those seemingly interested in Howard would likely only be contending teams right now. Perhaps, the Cleveland Browns come calling with their $20.75 million in cap room. They are legit title contenders and could afford to exhaust a first-rounder on someone of Howard’s ilk.

Either way, this is a story that will garner attention as the NFL offseason comes to a conclusion and training camps open later this month.

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