Dolphins: Xavien Howard thrilled with new contract loaded with incentives

Xavien Howard did all he could do to force their hand, and the Miami Dolphins have given him a reworked contract that should make him happier.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard outperformed his contract last season. He recently went all the way to requesting a trade to convey his unhappiness with his deal, and now he has gotten what he wanted.

According to multiple reports, the Dolphins have restructured Howard’s contract.

Howard is getting his 2021 salary fully guaranteed with $3.5 million in incentives. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, with a $1 million Pro Bowl incentive, he can now earn a maximum of close to $16.3 million in 2021.

Xavien Howard contract details

According to Rapoport, Howard’s full $12.975 million salary is now guaranteed for injury and will become fully guaranteed on the first day of the 2022 league year. $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses and $100,000 in workout bonuses are being moved to base salary and guaranteed.

Rapoport added $6.775 million of that 2022 salary is guaranteed at signing. The Dolphins have also assured Howard they’ll renegotiate a new market value deal next February or March based on his health and 2021 performance. Hopefully he got that last part in writing, or that assurance is as good as the paper it’s not written on.

Xavien Howard got what he wanted from the Dolphins, at least for now

Howard practiced at Dolphins’ camp for the first time on Saturday, perhaps not coincidentally on the assumption negotiations on a reworked contract were in the final stages, as he had been dealing with an ankle injury. The severity of that injury was easy to question, as he surely showed up to camp only to avoid being fined (the Dolphins can’t rescind fines for missed camp days). They did rescind the fines he got for missing mandatory minicamp.

Howard is coming off his best season in 2020, as he led the league in interceptions (10) and pass breakups (20). He also tied for the league lead in interceptions in 2018 with seven. Another season along those lines will set him up to get his deal reworked again early next offseason. But the Dolphins have assured that their best cornerback will be happily in the fold this season.