Miami Dolphins News: The End of the Xavien Howard Era?

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard is set to cost more than $25 million against the cap -- and doesn't seem open to a pay cut.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Xavien Howard missed the final three games of the Miami Dolphins‘ season, including their playoff loss to the Chiefs.

So it’s entirely possible that the last image we’ll have of the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback in a Dolphins uniform will be of him on a medical cart in Baltimore, his sprained left foot without a shoe or sock.

Howard held what could have been his final media availability with the franchise that drafted him in 2016 and has since paid him $85.1 million.

The Future of Miami Dolphins CB Xavien Howard

Will Howard continue to draw a paycheck from the Dolphins in 2024?

He’s not at all sure.

“It’s up in the air,” Howard said Monday. “My eight years here, I made the best of it. If this year is the last year, I have to say goodbye to some of these guys here, I definitely understand. It’s part of the business.

“No matter where I’m going, I’m still going to do my thing. Whatever comes with it, I’m excited about what will happen.”

The reason Howard wouldn’t be back in 2024? Finances. The Dolphins are some $40 million over the salary cap, and Howard, who is due $15.4 million in base salary, is set to cost a whopping $25.9 million against the cap.

Howard made clear Monday that he isn’t inclined to take less to stay.

MORE: 3 Bold Moves To Fix the Miami Dolphins in 2024

“Would you do it if your boss asks you to take a pay cut?” Howard asked. “It’s still money at the end of the day.”

The Dolphins need to make a decision relatively soon. He’s got a $3 million roster bonus that triggers on March 14.

“My eight years, I loved it,” Howard said. “Whatever happens, I’m with it.”

Howard did add, “I’m tired of going to the playoffs and not winning. It’s been eight years — third time going to the postseason — I want to win them games.

“It was supposed to be a Super Bowl this year. We had the talent. We’ll use that as motivation going into this next season.”

If the Dolphins cut or trade Howard, they’ll be losing one of the most accomplished defensive backs in franchise history. Howard, in eight NFL seasons, had 29 interceptions, the fourth most in franchise history.

His 10 picks in 2020 were tied with Dick Westmoreland for the most ever by a Dolphins player.

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