Houston Texans should pursue cornerback Xavien Howard
By Avery Duncan
Both the Houston Texans and the Miami Dolphins are in a bit of a predicament.
On one side, the Houston Texans are a contender right now, but have some significant holes, specifically at cornerback. On the other hand, the Miami Dolphins are in a clear rebuild mode and have a young cornerback in Xavien Howard that wants to be paid bigtime, which might not fit their timeline, which has stirred some trade rumors. Cameron Wolfe of ESPN wrote of how Howard is aware of the possibility of him being traded due to the business nature of the game.
Howard is a Houston native (Wheatley High School), Baylor graduate, and 2019 Pro Bowl starter. In 2018, Howard had his best year in the NFL, not only was he voted into the Pro Bowl, but he was also named as a second-team All-Pro and led the NFL in interceptions with seven on the year.
Naturally, Howard wants to get paid for his outstanding season and is eligible to do so this offseason. After the Dolphins season finale, Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald wrote on Howard’s desire to be the top paid cornerback in the NFL.
Not only has Howard said he wants to be paid handsomely, but he has also gone on the record to say he is sick of the Dolphins losing culture while the team also drafted a hybrid defensive back in Minkah Fitzpatrick with their first round pick in 2018. Considering Howards want for a new contract, tiredness of losing, and the Dolphins selecting a versatile defensive back in 2018, trading Howard doesn’t sound too far off.
If the Dolphins aren’t willing to work out a possible massive contract extension between the two (Howard shares the same agent as former Dolphin Jarvis Landry), trading him for a draft picks wouldn’t be a bad option.
At only 25 years old, Howard would be one of the most sought after players on the NFL trade block. He takes pride in being a physical man coverage cornerback and has excellent size (6-1) and ball skills to boot. If the Dolphins become serious about trading Howard, expect to see teams offer a minimum of a second round pick for his talents.
Texans have the flexibility to be aggressive after acquiring an additional second-round draft pick in the trade that sent offensive tackle Duane Brown to the Seattle Seahawks a couple of seasons ago. For the Texans, sacrificing one of their second rounders and perhaps a late pick for a young proven cornerback would be too good of an offer to pass up.