Coming off the best season of his career, star cornerback Xavien Howard wants to switch teams. The 28-year-old took to social media to request a trade from the Miami Dolphins, claiming that he does not feel “valued or respected” by the team.
The full statement reads as follows:
I’ve given my heart and soul to the Miami Dolphins franchise since they drafted me in 2016, and want to make it clear that I love my teammates.
They are my family. But what I’ve learned is that the business side of the NFL proves organizations don’t always have their player’s best interest at heart.
My experience with the Dolphins the past few seasons has taught me that. In 2018 I signed an extension that I’ll admit I didn’t completely understand, or feel comfortable with.
I’ve played on that deal for two seasons and didn’t complain, but everyone knows I’ve significantly outperformed that deal.
I’m one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, and the tape backs up that claim. The assignments I’m given, shadowing the opposition’s best player with little help, proves my value, my worth. Yet, I’m the second highest paid cornerback on my own team, and it’s not even close.
I want to clear up a few misconceptions about my situation. My agent David Canter and I have never once asked for a completely new contract.
We wanted things to work out with the Dolphins, and brought solutions to the table — like guaranteeing more money — that we felt were win-wins for both sides. These were proposals of adjustments that wouldn’t just make me feel more respected, but were also cap friendly. But the Dolphins refused everything we proposed.
This is why I don’t feel the organization has dealt with me in good faith. I don’t feel valued or respected by the Dolphins. Just like they can take a business-first approach, so can I.
That’s why I want to make it clear I’m not happy, and have requested a trade.
Until that trade happens I am just here so I don’t get fined, and will handle myself like professionals do.
Howard did report to the Dolphins’ training camp, but his intentions are obvious. Whether or not the team grants his wish remains to be seen, however.
Entering his sixth season in the NFL, Howard is due a salary cap hit of $13.5 million. He led the league with 10 interceptions in 2020 — one more than the New England Patriots’ J.C. Jackson — and was voted both to the first All-Pro team and the Pro Bowl.