The Dolphins claim that they have a “unique situation” with cornerback Xavien Howard. Ultimately, there’s nothing “unique” about it.
A player wants more money than he’s due to make, and he’s using the leverage that comes from a threatened or actual denial of services to get what he wants.
Via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Howard remains “adamant” about getting a raise. The team’s decision to extend other players has resulted in Howard become “even more dug in.”
Predicts Jackson on Howard: “If he doesn’t get a new deal with more money, this could stretch well into August.”
Again, a player not operating under his rookie contract faces daily fines in the amount of $50,000 — and the fines cannot be waived once the impasse ends. So there will be a significant expense if Howard doesn’t show up.
But the Dolphins won’t have him around if they don’t blink, or at least if they don’t find a compromise. They knew or should have known, when signing him to a six-year contract in 2019, that Howard could outperform the deal. He did. Now, they’re dealing with the aftermath of that.
One easy solution would be to move future money into 2021, with an understanding that they’ll rip up the deal in a year. While the team may position itself behind the shield of “bad precedent,” a franchise’s handling of contracts given to star players rarely opens the floodgates for renegotiations. Indeed, the easiest position the Dolphins can take if someone other than Xavien Howard wants a new deal with four years left on his current contract, the Dolphins need to simply say: “You’re not Xavien Howard.”
Unless the Dolphins come up with a solution, they may have to get by with a full roster of not Xavien Howards.