NFL

NFL: Xavien Howard to stay at Miami Dolphins after contract restructure

Xavien Howard had requested a trade due to his unhappiness with his contract, but will now remain with the Dolphins after agreeing revised terms.

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Xavien Howard to remain with Dolphins after contract restructure

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard will be staying with the NFL franchise after the two parties agreed to a restructure of his contract.

Howard had asked for trade due to dissatisfaction with pay deal

The All-Pro cornerback last month requested a trade, saying he did not feel "valued or respected" by the team.

The 28-year-old signed a five-year, $76.5million extension in 2019, which at the time made him the highest-paid corner in the NFL.

However, Howard was seemingly irritated by not even being the highest-paid corner on his team, with Byron Jones signed to a five-year $82.5m deal to lure him from the Dallas Cowboys last year.

Jones' contract carries an average annual value of $16.5m compared to $15.05m for Howard.

Howard's 2021 base salary of $12m sees him paid over $2m less than Jones.

But the Dolphins have satiated the 2020 first-team All-Pro, who led the league in interceptions (10) last year, increasing his fully guaranteed money for this year to $12.78m and his maximum with added incentives to $16.28m.

Howard has also seen his 2022 base salary of $12.97m guaranteed against injury. It will become fully guaranteed on the first day of the 2022 league year. Additionally, it has been reported Howard has received assurances the Dolphins will revisit his deal next year should he stay healthy and perform at a productive level again in 2021.

Howard registered impressive stats in 2020 NFL season

On top of his league-leading interceptions tally, Howard recorded a career-high of 20 passes defended in 2020.

Per Stats Perform advanced data, Howard's adjusted open percentage – which measures how frequently an opponent got open against a defender's coverage, adjusted for position – was 25.19, almost a full percentage point better than that of Jones (26.16) in 2020.

His efforts last season helped the Dolphins lead the NFL in takeaways (29), though that did not translate to a playoff berth as Brian Flores' team finished 10-6.

The Dolphins have not reached the postseason since the 2016 campaign and have not won a playoff game since their Wild Card victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2000 season.

They begin their quest to end those droughts at the New England Patriots on 12 September.