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Dolphins DB Xavien Howard gets multi-year deal

Florida Football Insiders

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Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

One of the off-season priorities for the Dolphins and one of their young star players was accomplished on Thursday afternoon. That’s when star defensive back Xavien Howard cashed in on a brand new deal to secure his future in South Florida.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport had details on the long-term deal:

Both Howard and the team has been trying to work out a contract extension since late last year. And, the $46 million guaranteed, clearly shows that GM Chris Grier wanted to reward his previous play and potential. By the way, that amount of money guaranteed in the first three years of the deal is the largest ever for a defensive back in NFL history.

Howard came into his own in 2018 and finished tied for the AFC lead in interceptions with 7 last season. Howard missed the final three games of the season with a slight knee injury.

The former 2015 second draft pick out of Baylor has become a mainstay in Miami’s defensive backfield over the course of the last three seasons.

And, in making the commitment to Howard, the new coaching regime’ led by Brian Flores and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, is obviously pleased with what they’ve seen either on his game tape and/or going against Howard the last few seasons when the Dolphins battled the Patriots.

Howard is one of the few remaining recognizable stars left on the defense of the last couple of years after Miami has systematically got rid of veterans like defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh, and Robert Quinn, plus safety, Michael Thomas.

Miami has reloaded with some young talent including drafting safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first round out of Alabama last year and recently, taking Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins in the first-round this season. Simultaneously to the Howard deal getting done, the Fins also announced that Wilkins’ rookie contract is also already complete.

The 13th overall pick got a four-year deal and it’s believed to be worth $15 million with just over $9 million guaranteed. Miami also retains a possible fifth year option on Wilkins for 2023.

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