Sports

Dolphins, Xavien Howard agree to the most lucrative contract for a cornerback in NFL history

MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins and cornerback Xavien Howard have agreed to a five-year contract, his agent David Canter announced.

The deal is valued at $50.6 million in new money and provides Howard with the most guaranteed cash for a cornerback in NFL history.

Howard had three years and $39 million remaining on the five-year, $75 million contract he signed in 2020, but he had been dissatisfied with the deal since the start of the 2021 season. The second pick in the 2016 draft requested a trade in July, saying that he did not feel “valued or respected” by the organization that raffled him off.

His request came during an offseason during which Miami signed cornerback Byron Jones to a five-year, $82.5 million deal, making Howard the second-highest-paid cornerback on his own team.

To ease their concerns, the Dolphins had slightly restructured Howard’s contract after his request for a trade, which included waiving his fines for missing mandatory minicamp and promising to renegotiate his contract after the 2021 season.

“Xavien has done a lot of great things here for this organization,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said at the NFL’s annual meeting last week. “I’ve known him for years. I was here when we drafted him. He was my second draft pick here. I’m looking forward to him being here and helping us win.”

Howard intercepted five passes in 2021 and forced a pair of fumbles, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Since he entered the league in 2016, no other player has had more interceptions than Howard’s 27.

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