The Miami Dolphins understand they have something rare, and they’ve wisely decided to keep him in South Florida for a long time.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Dolphins have rewarded cornerback Xavien Howard with a 5-year, $76.5m ($46m guaranteed) extension.
Dolphins are signing CB Xavien Howard to a record five-year, $76.5 million extension that includes $46M guaranteed, making him the highest paid CB in the NFL, sources tell ESPN. It’s the largest extension for a CB. Since becoming a 2nd-round pick, Howard has gone to one Pro Bowl.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
Dolphins CB Xavien Howard will receive $51 million in first 3 years of his new deal, source says. Big numbers for Howard.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) May 9, 2019
Even on a team that’s “rebuilding”, having an elite, shutdown cornerback is such a desired commodity that the Dolphins wanted to maintain their former 2nd-round pick rather than trade him for future assets.
Miami drafted Howard #38 overall after giving up a fourth-round pick to move up four spots to draft the Baylor product. What initially seemed like another Dolphins 2nd-round bust quickly turned into a promising prospect. Activated for just 7 games his rookie season due to a knee injury, Howard has since started 28 out of 32 possible games and has accumulated 11 interceptions, 25 passes defended and 83 tackles over that time.
Xavien Howard is really really good pic.twitter.com/opAa3bPjdH
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) December 4, 2018
Howard tied for the league lead in interceptions last season (with 7), and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl. Miami is flushed with cap space going forward, and fitting Howard into the budget was a pretty easy task. It’ll be interesting to see how the annual salaries are laid out and if Miami decides to stack the guaranteed money towards the beginning of the contract, making it easier to maneuver Howard later in his career.
This is the second straight offseason Chris Grier has rewarded a cornerback he’s drafted with a contract extension. Defensive captain Bobby McCain will be entering year 2 of a $27m extension he signed last year. With Reshad Jones set to cost $11.5 million next season, Miami needs to find some cheap gems to round out its costly secondary.
Dolphins Waive TE Michael Roberts
As the doors of the Dolphins’ training facility open to the newly signed rookie class, they close for another former Miami-hopeful after an active weekend of roster moves.
The Miami Dolphins have today waived TE Michael Roberts.
We have been awarded CB Javaris Davis from Kansas City and have waived/non-football injury TE Michael Roberts. We have also placed the following players on the reserve/COVID-19 list: LS Blake Ferguson, DT Benito Jones and CB Cordrea Tankersley. pic.twitter.com/0l3CD2H4Rv
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) July 27, 2020
Roberts began his NFL career in 2017 out of Toledo as a 4th round pick of the Detroit Lions, possessing ideal measurements (6’5”, 265lb) for a playmaking TE.
A shoulder injury in December 2018 cut short Roberts’ time in Detroit and he was waived by the Lions following a failed physical as part of an attempted trade with the New England Patriots and subsequently waived quickly again after being picked up by the Green Bay Packers.
Roberts underwent reconstruction of the injured left shoulder in August 2019, having struggled both physically and mentally as his career path veered away from his dreams. Signed by the Dolphins in February 2020, it was hoped that Roberts could revive his NFL career in Miami’s TE room, competing with Durham Smythe for the TE2 spot behind Mike Gesicki.
At only 26 years old, it remains to be seen whether the young TE will be able to regain full health and return to the game, but the craziness of 2020 only puts further hurdles in his path as training camp rosters are reduced across the league to 80 players in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Don’t expect Brian Flores and his staff to sit on their hands when it comes to competition – 2019 highlighted on a regularly churning roster of names being given a chance to succeed – and this approach is expected to continue at certain positions. As such, Saturday’s news that former Chicago Bears’ TE Adam Shaheen had been acquired by the Dolphins ensures that healthy competition can continue to spread through the roster, and proves the willingness of the front office to give chances to promising players who may not have achieved during their first NFL stop.
Miami Dolphins Trade for Tight End Adam Shaheen
After a breakout 2019 campaign, it looks like Mike Gesicki will have some competition.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Miami Dolphins have traded a 2021 6th-round pick to the Chicago Bears for tight end Adam Shaheen.
Bears are trading TE Adam Shaheen to the Dolphins for a conditional 2021 sixth-round draft pick, per source with knowledge of the transaction.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 25, 2020
A former 2nd-round pick (2017) out of Ashland University (Division II), Shaheen excelled during the combine, which led to an increase in his draft stock. The Bears jumped at the opportunity of molding a raw prospect, and selected Shaheen with the 45th pick in the draft. He was the 5th tight end taken in the draft that year, well above where he was originally projected when he declared for the NFL.
Though the Bears were optimistic, it seems Shaheen hasn’t lived up to his draft status. After three seasons, Shaheen has 26 receptions for 249 yards and 4 touchdowns. His playtime has diminished from 239 offensive snaps in 2017, to 160 in 2018 and 174 in 2019; with injuries playing a part the past two seasons. For comparisons sake, Durham Smythe had 482 offensive snaps last season alone (Shaheen has 573 for his career).
Shaheen became expendable after the Bears drafted Cole Kmet in the 2nd-round of the 2020 draft and signed Jimmy Graham to a 2-year contract earlier this offseason. With 8 tight ends on the Chicago Bears roster, you know something had to give. And from the perspective of a Bears’ fan, receiving any compensation for a likely roster cut is rewarding enough.
Trading a 6th-round pick means Shaheen is a favorite to win one of the backup tight end spots, should the Dolphins keep 3 on their roster.
It’s unlikely that Shaheen is a possible replacement for Smythe, as Shaheen is meant to be a receiving threat more than an in-line blocker, but there is so much untapped potential with Shaheen that it’s hard to guess what the Dolphins will receive from him.
We assume Mike Gesicki will continue to grow, but behind him, the cupboard is pretty barren. Shaheen adds much-needed depth to a tight end room that currently includes Smythe, Michael Roberts, Chris Myarick and undrafted rookie Bryce Sterk.
These Adam Shaheen receptions are all from the same drive. Wouldn’t be a surprise to see him more comfortable in year two coming from Ashland.
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) August 12, 2018
Miami Dolphins’ Jones and Howard land in top 10 CB rankings
MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – On Tuesday night, CBS Sports HQ revealed its power rankings for the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
And in their top 10 rankings, the Miami Dolphins landed two players: Xavien Howard and Byron Jones.
The rankings were created by Patrik Walker through the CBS Sports HQ Twitter account and are indicative of where Walker sees the league’s top corners as they enter the 2020 season.
Jones came in at six, and Howard landed at eight.
Howard was shut down for the most part in 2019 but saw his first Pro Bowl after the 2018 season, where he caught seven interceptions, tying for the most. Howard is going into his fifth year, all with the Dolphins.
Howard was selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Byron Jones joined the Miami Dolphins earlier in 2020 after signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract and is slated to start across from Howard.
Jones is going into his sixth year in the NFL after originally being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2015 Draft, 27 overall.
Regardless of their positional rankings, there will be high expectations for the cornerback tandem as they are projected to be the starters and already have a proven track record in the NFL.
Top 10 Cornerbacks in the NFL
(According to @VoiceOfTheStar)
1. Stephon Gilmore
2. Marcus Peters
3. Joe Haden
4. Jalen Ramsey
5. Patrick Peterson
6. Byron Jones
7. Tre’Davious White
8. Xavien Howard
9. Chris Harris Jr.
10. Marshon Lattimore pic.twitter.com/YGgDJ40S2P
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 23, 2020
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