Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard created a stir in Miami this week when he decided to go public with his request to be traded due to his contract situation. Howard has been trying to get more money from the Dolphins, but the team has shot down his efforts and that's mostly due to the fact that the 28-year-old still has four years left on his current deal.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores was asked about the situation during a radio interview this week. Specifically, Flores was asked if there was any way the team would be able to keep Howard in Miami even though he clearly wants out.
"There's a way," Flores told "The Joe Rose Show" via the Miami Herald. "I think we just continue to have discussions with him, his representation, and keep the lines of communication open, continue having dialogue and, hopefully, work something out."
According to Flores, the two sides have been communicating with each other in en effort to get things figured out.
"Look, [Howard] is a great player, good teammate," Flores said. "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."
Whatever Flores and Howard talked about on Tuesday clearly didn't do much to convince the corner he would be getting a new deal because his trade demand came out on Tuesday night.
As the week now continues, the situation doesn't seem to be getting any friendlier between the two sides. Flores' radio interview took place on Wednesday and less than 24 hours later, he had a slightly less optimistic tone when asked about Howard's situation. After Thursday's practice, Flores didn't exactly give a straight answer when he was asked if he thought Howard would be on the Dolphins' roster come Week 1.
"We're focused on today," Flores said, via the Sun-Sentinel. "Our focus is on right now, today and helping the players improve and get better. I don't really go down the road."
According to the Miami Herald, the two sides haven't had any significant contract talks in at least a "couple of days."
So will Howard eventually get dealt?
When it comes to trade demands, the Dolphins actually have a solid track record of granting requests. Both Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kiko Alonso were recently dealt after making a demand, which might be one reason why Howard decided to go public with his. Although the Dolphins have been known to deal players, Flores didn't make any promises when it comes to Howard. The coach said he'll have to sit down with Dolphins general manager Chris Grier to get things figured out.
"It's case by case," Flores said what happens when a player makes a trade request, via the Miami Herald. "Every situation is different. Every year is different. There's a lot that goes into it: Chris' opinion, my opinion, salary cap, this is not just one thing [of] it's got to be this way or it's got to be that way. Flexibility is a part of that as well."
One thing Flores didn't do there was rule out the possibility of a trade.
Although Howard showed up to training camp, he didn't practice on Thursday due an undisclosed injury that's been described as minor. If the Dolphins do trade Howard, they should be able to get a decent return, considering that he's a 2020 All-Pro who has more interceptions over the past four seasons than any other player in the NFL.
According to NFL.com, two teams that made the playoffs last season have already contacted the Dolphins about making a possible trade. If you want to see a list of possible landing spots for the Dolphins star, be sure to click here.