The Miami Dolphins have inked cornerback Xavien Howard to a huge contract extension. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the deal will be for five-seasons and $76.5 million with $46 million guaranteed. This new contract will make him the third-highest paid cornerback in the NFL based on guaranteed money, trailing only Josh Norman and Patrick Peterson.
Some people might look at this deal and think that the Dolphins are giving Howard too much money, but that’s not really the case even though he’s not a household name. Howard is only 25-years old and in his three seasons in the league he has made a Pro-Bowl and he has 11 interceptions, including being tied with two other players at the top of the league with seven interceptions last season despite only playing in 12 games.
To go with that, when you dive deeper into the numbers, Howard ranks right up there with some of the other top corners in the league like Patrick Peterson and Casey Hayward.
Given the cap situation for the Dolphins, paying Howard now was the right move. They were able to lock up one of the top players in the league at his position and it didn’t do very much damage to their cap space going forward, because while they don’t have very much money set to come off their books at the end of this upcoming season, at the end of the year after they have a ton of money set to come off of their books, which could be the time to pay Josh Rosen if trading for him ends up paying off.
As far as the Dolphins continuing to build the defense, this is huge because as I mentioned he is one of the top players at his position in the league and they now have Brian Flores as their head coach, who has a defensive background and they of course used their first-round pick on Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins in this past draft.
That secondary in Miami also has a lot of talent and now they have their top player in that unit locked up long-term and they have some very good options at safety with T.J. McDonald, Reshad Jones and now Minkah Fitzpatrick set to play safety, but they will have to work hard to find another corner opposite of Howard and the candidates for that appear to be Bobby McCain, Eric Rowe or Jalen Davis.
While they still need to figure out some answers with the other parts of their defense, giving Howard this deal is a smart decision given their cap space and situation going forward.
Top Photo: AJ Mast/Associated Press