One player who was made happy with a recent extension was Xavien Howard. The Miami Dolphins signed Howard to a five-year extension worth $75.25 million.
The deal makes Howard the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL and resets the cornerback market moving forward. On the other hand, the Dolphins are elated to tie Howard to the franchise long-term.
Miami is beginning a new era under Brian Flores as head coach and are hoping to turn the tides. The New England Patriots have dominated the AFC East for nearly two decades to the tune of 10 straight division titles.
The last time that New England wasn’t being crowned AFC East champs, Howard was still in high school. Howard and company are ready to make some noise in 2019 with the new regime.
In the last couple of seasons, Howard has showcased his potential to become one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He’s been able to secure 11 interceptions in the last two years alone.
The young cornerback has impressed the Miami organization early in his career but he’s just getting started. Here are three early goals for Xavien Howard in 2019 with the Dolphins.
3. Build Off of an Impressive 2018 Season
Howard was one of the best cornerbacks in 2018 statistically speaking. He was able to get seven interceptions, 12 pass deflections, and 35 total tackles.
Miami’s best cornerback is a perfect balance of size and speed. He’s exactly what you’d want in a cornerback if you were creating one on a Madden video game.
The last two seasons have been impressive ones for Howard after barely seeing the field in his rookie season in 2016. In just the last two seasons, Howard has 11 interceptions, 25 pass deflections, and 83 total tackles.
Although, last season he started in 12 games but still was able to come away with seven interceptions. Quarterbacks are going to begin taking notice of Howard on the field and will likely look the other way.
For Howard, he will want to continue building off of what was an impressive 2018 season, in 2019.
2. Help Turn the Dolphins Into Winners
The Dolphins have been a struggling franchise since the late 1990s, early 2000s. Since then, they’ve managed to make the playoffs just twice, with them missing the postseason in the last two years.
Flores and the new brass are hoping to turn things around for the better. It’s also up to Howard and the other cornerstones of the franchise to help shift the culture to a winning one.
Having an elite cornerback on defense is a great way to start building a formidable defense. Of course, Flores was the Patriots defensive coordinator so he knows what it takes defensively to win a Super Bowl.
It’s up to the star players on the Dolphins to take what Flores instills in the locker room and help manifest it onto the field. Howard and the other guys on the team can begin making Miami a winning franchise once again.
1. Show He Was Worth the Money
The one thing that everyone does when a player like Howard signs a mega-deal is question if he was worth it or not. This year, Howard will have to prove to himself and fans that Miami made the right decision to pay him handsomely.
Howard is a phenomenal cornerback who still has a ton of room to grow as a player. That’s the scary part, Howard is only 25 years old and still has a boatload of potential.
The reason why the Dolphins decided to pay a hefty price tag for Howard is because of his last two seasons and his age. It makes sense for both sides but that won’t keep fans or the media from questioning the move if Howard struggles at all.
The last two seasons have undoubtedly been remarkable ones for the Dolphins cornerback. If he can have a repeat, or even better season, of those two seasons he’ll show fans in Miami that the Dolphins organization made the right choice in extending him.