Yet another big name that has stated he is unhappy with his current situation this offseason is Miami Dolphins star cornerback Xavien Howard. Howard officially requested a trade from Miami this week after initially stating he is unhappy with his contract earlier this offseason.
Despite signing a massive 5-year contract extension just a couple years ago that made him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league, Howard stated he wanted a pay increase which seems a bit out of the ordinary. Judging by Howard’s lengthy Instagram post from the other day stating his intention to request a trade, it would seem Howard signed a deal he did not like at the time, yet he still signed it anyway hoping the rest could be sorted out later.
Ultimately, Howard is left wanting out of Miami and the Dolphins are stuck with a decision to make. Arguably their best defensive player wanting out of the organization right before a season where many expect them to make a pretty big leap isn’t an ideal situation.
Could the KC Chiefs acquire Xavien Howard?
By now, Chiefs fans should know the drill. Any time a big name becomes available we seem to feel the need to discuss whether or not the Chiefs should be interested. That’s because most of the time the Chiefs are in fact in on these types of names and general manager Brett Veach has shown he can wheel and deal whenever he feels like it.
Plus, the Chiefs do have some uncertainty long-term at cornerback beyond L’Jarius Sneed but that would all be taken care of if the team acquired Xavien Howard. Any time you can eliminate a position group from your list of needs and questions you have to consider the potential move.
We’re not the only one’s suggesting it either, ESPN’s Matt Miller suggested Howard would be a great fit in Kansas City.
The obvious question everyone would be asking is, “how would Kansas City be able to fit Howard under the cap?”. It’s true that the Chiefs can’t afford Howard. They currently only have around $8 million to spend according to OverTheCap.com and Howard is due a base salary of $12 million in 2021.
There are ways around this, though, if the Chiefs are serious about acquiring the lockdown corner. One way would be to extend Tyrann Mathieu. Extending Mathieu could give the Chiefs flexibility to acquire Howard now and figure out some more contract maneuvering later like offloading the contracts of Anthony Hitchens and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif next year just to name a few.
Speaking of offloading contracts, another player who could see himself losing out on some money is Frank Clark with his legal issues going on and the fact cutting Clark next year would save the Chiefs significant funds. Basically, if there’s a will, there’s a way.
Another potential hookup in acquiring Howard is the fact he’ll probably take a pretty big haul of picks to get and the Chiefs need to start being a little more cautious with giving up picks as they’ve done so a lot in recent years. They’re going to need those picks to supplement the roster with youth and talent at some point.
Not to mention the Dolphins might not be too enthusiastic to trade Kansas City, a hurdle in the conference, yet another piece to make them better.
There’s no denying that Howard on the Chiefs defense would be borderline unstoppable, though. Howard’s league-leading 18 interceptions since 2018 would give the Chiefs a turnover machine that could give the ball back to the offense even more which would pretty much be doom for the rest of the league. A secondary of Sneed, Thornhill, Mathieu, and Howard would be pretty scary.
Howard can be plugged into almost any defense and take away a team’s No.1 receiver which is something this current Kansas City secondary hasn’t had in a while. Maybe L’Jarius Sneed can be that guy in the future, but there’s no guarantees.
All in all, an Xavien Howard trade seems unlikely and would be difficult for Kansas City to pull off. It would truly be an all-in move to give up picks and more money to acquire him, but he would give Kansas City a top-flight, ball-hawking secondary to go with the best offense in the league.