PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Miami Dolphins All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard is unhappy with his contract and there’s been “a lot of trade chatter” surrounding the 28-year-old defensive back, according to NFL Network.
Howard is two years into a $75 million deal, but he feels like his compensation doesn’t reflect his level of play. He skipped Miami’s mandatory minicamp in June due to his contract.
Howard is coming off a 2020 season where he led the NFL with 10 interceptions and recorded 51 total tackles.
Recently, Bleacher Report took a look at some trade packages for Howard and listed the Philadelphia Eagles as a potential landing spot for him.
“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 deal proposed by Bleacher Report makes sense for the Eagles.
Howard would step in immediately in the other cornerback spot next to Darius Slay to solidify the secondary.
At the moment, the Eagles’ No. 2 cornerback spot is one of the biggest weaknesses on the team. If the roster were to stay the same throughout training camp, Avonte Maddox would most likely start opposite of Slay, even though he’s better suited at the nickel.
Zech McPhearson will compete with Maddox for the job at camp, but it’s unlikely that a fourth-round cornerback will be able to step up and fill the void. It would be a tall task for McPhearson, especially in a division with receivers like Amari Cooper, Terry McLaurin and Kenny Golladay.
While the trade would be good for the Eagles, the Dolphins might be able to get a better offer for their All-Pro corner.
The Eagles would probably love to get out of the Ertz situation — especially before they enter training camp — but Miami might not be interested in him, despite the fact that he could be a solid option for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins already have Mike Gesicki, who’s entering the last year of his rookie contract, and will probably get extended. Plus, they drafted tight end Hunter Long in the third round out of Boston College this season.
In August of 2017, Howie Roseman traded wideout Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby, so it’s possible for a deal to get done during training camp.
It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on the Howard situation as training camp progresses, especially with a general manager like Roseman who’s been able to pull off deals like this in the past.
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