It's been a whirlwind of a week for Xavien Howard. Two days after formally requesting a trade from the Dolphins, the All-Pro cornerback left Thursday's practice with an ankle injury that has forced him out of Friday's practice as well. Dolphins coach Brian Flores said he does not know when Howard will be able to return to the practice field.
Despite Howard's trade request, Flores said that the Dolphins will continue their efforts to keep him in Miami. Howard's desire to be traded stems from his unhappiness with his contract. Howard has four years remaining on a five-year, $75.25 million extension he signed in 2019. And while he clearly does not want to continue to play under his current contract, Howard said that he is not necessarily asking for a completely new deal.
"Look, [Howard] is a great player, good teammate," Flores told "The Joe Rose Show" via the Miami Herald. "His teammates love playing with him. I love coaching him. Obviously, we've had discussions with him, his representation. I talked to him [Tuesday]. I'll keep all those conversations between us, including his contract situation."
Shortly after making his trade request public, several teams, including two 2020 playoff teams, inquired about trading for Howard, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The 28-year-old would be a significant addition to any defense. Howard has twice led the NFL in interceptions, recording a career-best 10 picks in 2020. He also broke up a league-high 20 passes while helping Miami boast the league's top-ranked third-down defense. Howard's play last season led to him being tabbed as the league's 24th best player in CBS Sports NFL senior writer Pete Prisco's annual ranking.
"We wanted things to work out with the Dolphins, and brought solutions to the table -- like guaranteeing more money -- that we felt were win-wins for both sides," Howard said in a statement that was posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday. "These were proposals of adjustments that wouldn't just make me feel more respected, but were also cap friendly. But the Dolphins refused everything we proposed."