It’s not very often that a talent like Miami Dolphins’ cornerback Xavien Howard could be available this late in the calendar year.
But that may be the case. Michael Silver of NFL Media recently reported that the Dolphins and Howard are not in a good space these days regarding his contract and he may want to be traded.
Of course, these things do happen. We all remember the Khalil Mack saga three years ago.
So, if the Howard-Dolphins stalemate heads down that same, bumpy road, would the Las Vegas Raiders be interested in making a play for Howard? Of course, Jon Gruden’s team is already being connected to potential Howard trades.
Why wouldn’t Las Vegas want Howard? He led the NFL in interceptions with 10 last season. The Raiders — as an entire team! — had 10 interceptions in 2020, which was tied for the fourth-fewest in the NFL. In a conference call last week, Raiders’ legendary defensive back Charles Woodson said he thinks Howard is one of the very best cornerbacks in the NFL today. So, the guy can clearly play.
Howard would immediately give the Raiders’ defense a much-needed boost and he would be one of the top players on the roster, regardless of position. Silver reported that several teams that are in “win-now mode” are thinking about making a run at Howard.
3) There are several teams, all in win-now mode, pondering such a move. If no one steps up to meet Miami's price, Howard (who skipped the offseason program) could try to force the issue by holding out of training camp. He could be fined $50,000 a day in that scenario. Stay tuned.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) July 14, 2021
Gruden should be in win-now mode and I believe he seriously considers everything that can make his team better. But it won’t be cheap or easy to put Howard in the Silver and Black.
As Silver reported, the trade compensation would be a first-round pick plus some and he will got a big contract. The contract is the easy part. The Raiders can give him a deal after the season when they will have a ton of salary-cap room.
However, the draft pick compensation may be a lot. The Raiders have invested greatly in the secondary in the draft in recent years.
the Raiders spent more on their secondary than any other team in the last 5 yrs:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) June 18, 2021
4 first round picks (most in NFL)
6 picks in the first 2 rds (most)
10 picks in the first 4 rds (most)
yet their pass D ranked
They have so many young cornerbacks — including Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, Amik Robertson, Isaiah Johnson and Nate Hobbs — that have to be developed, that using high pick plus some on a player at the position, could be hard to swallow.
Yes, Howard is a hell of a player and he’d make the Raiders better, but they have to stop wasting so many picks. It’s an interesting case and I can see both sides of the argument. If the Howard situation deteriorates more in Miami, perhaps will be discussing this potential situation more in the coming weeks.