MINI-THREAD: 1) Excited about my new @WashingtonNFL contributor gig; since I still work for @nflnetwork, some journalism: There’s a lot of trade chatter concerning Dolphins All-Pro CB Xavien Howard, who led the NFL with 10 interceptions in 2020 & is unhappy with his contract…
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) July 14, 2021
The Dolphins and star cornerback Xavien Howard are headed for a standoff over his contract and with the Eagles needing a game-changer at cornerback, Philadelphia could be a potential landing spot.
Howard is two years into a $75 million deal, but after logging a league-leading 10 interceptions in 2020, the talented cornerback wants to be paid like the best in the business.
Bleacher Report recently looked at the top potential landing spot and Philadelphia made the list despite having salary cap issues.
The Eagles have the third-lowest amount of available salary-cap space of any squad. But they are a realistic landing spot because they have extra 2022 draft capital.
Along with three potential first-round picks, the Eagles have all of their original draft picks, plus an extra fifth from the Washington Football Team. Questions abound regarding how new head coach Nick Sirianni will perform, which might make their second-round pick more enticing to the Dolphins.
First, general manager Howie Roseman must make the financials work. Like the Saints, a restructured deal could provide some relief. However, the Eagles need more than a few million shifted around to complete this trade.
Philadelphia has a bona fide trade chip in tight end Zach Ertz, who is still considered a top-10 tight end despite last year’s injury-plagued campaign.
“He’s probably tired of the bullcrap in Philly,” a veteran NFL offensive player told Fowler. “With a fresh start, he’ll still be great.”
Ertz’s inclusion would save the Eagles $8.5 million. They’d still have to make corresponding cap-saving moves, but at least trading Ertz would help offset a large portion of Howard’s contract.
Mike Gesicki continues to improve as the Dolphins’ starting tight end. The position isn’t an immediate need. But the possibility of adding a valuable draft asset and another weapon for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa shouldn’t be dismissed.
Trade Package: The Eagles trade a 2022 second-round draft pick and tight end Zach Ertz to the Dolphins for Howard.
The Dolphins may want a first-round pick for Howard and Howie Roseman will likely be reluctant to part ways with such an asset. The Eagles general manager would prefer to save those first-round picks as assets for a potential AFC South signal-caller.