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Xavien Howard’s shocking trade request after disrespectful acts by Dolphins

Xavien Howard, Dolphins

In a move which was not a surprise on a larger level, cornerback Xavien Howard still shocked the Miami Dolphins with the candor expressed in a formal statement announcing a trade request on Tuesday evening.

The fact that Howard showed up at training camp offered the Dolphins a glimmer of hope that they could change this situation for the better, but Howard slammed that door shut with his statement. 

A player-management clash is nothing new; neither is rancor when contract negotiations don’t go well. What is notable here is that Howard felt he had to spell out the specific details of his disagreements with the Dolphins, airing his grievances in public.

This isn’t a mistake or inappropriate behavior, merely a conspicuous case of a player feeling he had to share his side of the story in the midst of a contentious situation with his NFL employer. Howard could have simply said it was time to move on, but he wanted the world and fellow NFL players to know that — in his opinion — the Dolphins were not honest brokers. Howard wanted his team to feel pain and discomfort.

The Dolphins surely received the message.

This comes at a delicate point in time for the Miami franchise. The Dolphins went 10-6 last year, missing the playoffs but announcing themselves as AFC playoff contenders and showing they are in a strong position to battle the Buffalo Bills for AFC East supremacy.

The Dolphins rose above Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots under Belichick protege Brian Flores, a powerful indicator of how different the AFC East has become since Tom Brady left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Dolphins have every reason to think of themselves as an AFC contender — not a top-tier contender just yet, but a team which can position itself for a Super Bowl run in two to three seasons. It will be fascinating to see if Xavien Howard’s message has the effect — probably intended — of persuading high-end free agents to veer away from Miami in future offseasons. It will be a major point of interest around the NFL to see what Miami is able to acquire in a Howard trade package.