The Miami Dolphins and Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard have reached an agreement on a contract extension making him the highest paid cornerback in football. Giving that kind of money to a homegrown player has been a rarity for the Dolphins in recent years. This deal signals what has been echoed all off-season from the front office. The team’s foundation will be built through the draft and not free agency or trades. This deal was an important step into turning that mentality into a reality.
What the Xavien Howard Extension Signals to the Miami Dolphins Locker Room
The deal gives the blueprint to how a player can earn his money from the Dolphins. It is not only about ability on the field, but how a player carries himself in the locker room. According to Armando Salguero, head coach Brian Flores during a press conference said Howard is not only a great player but a leader in the locker room. The deal emphasizes the importance of being both a great player, hard worker, and leader.
What Players Could Be Next
Howard was a second-round pick in 2016. He was the first player from that class to get an extension. Are there any other players from that class that could be next? When looking at the draft class, there is one obvious player, left tackle Laremy Tunsil, and one who may get an extension based on play in the upcoming season, wide receiver Jakeem Grant. These players are intriguing pieces that could get their extension next.
When taking a look at the 2017 draft class, there are three players who may receive an extension in a couple of years, based on if they continue development. The first is a second-round draft pick, linebacker Raekwon McMillan. After that could be defensive lineman Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor. All of these players will need to develop and fit into the new defense Flores and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham plans to run.
It is too early to evaluate the 2018 draft class. But one obvious player who will get an extension is defensive back, Minkah Fitzpatrick. When eligible, he will surely get paid. He is already an outstanding player and a great locker room presence.
The Dolphins need more players like Howard to build up a winning franchise. This was the correct move and a step in the right direction.