When you think of a ball-hawking cornerback, Xavien Howard should be one of the first names that come to mind.
He is about as sticky in coverage as they get. He has naturally soft hands, like a receiver. What this results in, a cornerback who consistently sits on the top of the leaderboards for most interceptions in a season.
In fact, Howard is the first player in the last decade to record 10 interceptions in a season.
Let’s go through his full 2020 stat line:
Name: Xavien Howard
Games played: 16
Passes defended: 20
Completion rate when targeted: 45.5%
Howard leads the NFL in passes defended and interceptions. He came in fourth for the lowest completion rate allowed by cornerbacks. Howard, when healthy, is one of the very best in the game and clearly in his prime.
However, the ‘when healthy’ statement is semi-problematic. He has shown to have some issues staying healthy thus far in his career. In five accrued seasons, he has only two where he played in all 16 games. This is rightfully something of concern.
The other issue is Howard’s public demand for a new contract. He currently has four years remaining on his current deal. He is not overly fond of the idea of being the second-highest-paid cornerback on the Dolphins roster. He wants this to be remedied to make him number one on the payroll just like he is on the field.
The Dolphins are reluctant due to an already expensive secondary, and his durability concerns. The number Howard is trying to reach is not far off from what he currently makes (a difference of $1.5 million APY). Yet, the two sides are dug in.
If the contractual stalemate cannot be remedied, this could be a huge opportunity to acquire a superstar-caliber player. So, what would a trade/redone contract look like for the Seahawks?