In a public statement released on Tuesday night, Howard made it abundantly clear that he’s “unhappy” with his current contract — saying that he’s “significantly outperformed” a deal that he “didn’t completely understand or feel comfortable with” back in 2018.
Despite leading the league in interceptions (10) and passes defended (20) through the 2020 season, Howard is the sixth highest paid corner in the NFL — earning $15.1 million in average salary on his five-year, $75.25 million extension. His secondary teammate Byron Jones is slated to earn $40 million through the first two seasons of his five-year, $82.5 million deal.
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter shared Howard’s message on Twitter.
Xavien Howard: pic.twitter.com/CdeL70tUqh
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 28, 2021
“I’ve given my heart and soul to the Miami Dolphins franchise since they drafted me in 2016, and I want to make it abundantly clear that I love my teammates” Howard wrote. “They are my family. But what I’ve learned is that the business side of the NFL proves organizations don’t always have a player’s best interest at heart.
“In 2018, I signed an extension that 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.”
Howard then went on to explain that he and his agent, David Canter, have “brought solutions to the table” on how to rectify this situation without drafting an entirely new contract (ie. guaranteed money allotment/cap space clearing) — all of which were refused.
“That is why I don’t feel the organization has dealt with me in good faith,” Howard wrote. ” I don’t feel valued, or respected by the Dolphins. Just like they can take a business-first approach, so can I.”
Howard appeased some anxious Dolphins fans earlier this morning when he showed up at training camp. But now, it seems that sigh of relief was premature.
“Until that trade happens I am just here so I don’t get fined,” Howard wrote, “and will handle myself like professionals do.”