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On To The Next One: Xavien Howard

The Miami Dolphin’s lockdown corner Xavien Howard, coming off his Defensive MVP caliber season, elected for new representation in David Canter. Howard ended his relationship with his previous agent Damarius Bilbo of Klutch Sports Group and joined the already impressive list of defensive clientele boasted by Canter. Signing with his third agent in three years, Howard is likely aiming to renegotiate his current contract following his record-setting season.

Xavien Howard proved his status as one of the best defensive backs in the NFL this season. Leading the league in several categories, he has unquestionably made his case as a frontrunner to achieve the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. His 10 interceptions were not only the highest tally across the league, but it was also the first time a player recorded double-digit picks since 2007. Ten interceptions also tied the Miami franchise record set in 1967. Accompanying the season-high interceptions were 20 passes defended, which also led the NFL. Twenty pass breakups were the most by a Dolphin since 2008 when Andre Goodman had 19. Howard held opposing quarterbacks to a rating of 48.8 and only allowed 49.3% of targets in his coverage to be completed. Both of those statistics were the best by a player covering at least 40 pass attempts per Pro Football Focus. Just as the numbers hint, few other corners in the NFL were as efficient in pass coverage as Xavien Howard this season.

When Howard negotiated his $15 million per year contract in 2019, he became the highest-paid cornerback in the league. Now, he isn’t even the highest-paid corner on his own team. That status belongs to teammate Byron Jones. After his immensely successful season of 2020, Howard will reasonably be expected to ask for at least a more lucrative deal than his teammate, if not enough to reclaim his title as the highest-paid corner in the NFL. Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey currently holds that benchmark at $20 million per year. Howard is reportedly happy to remain in Miami if the Dolphins are willing to renegotiate his contract. But his new representation, David Canter, has not shied away from leading former Dolphins to greener pastures of other organizations in the past. DEC Management’s CEO has previously aided cornerback Sean Smith and defensive linemen Paul Soliai and Olivier Vernon in leaving the Dolphin’s franchise to join other teams in search of better contracts.

Howard just wrapped up year two of his five-year contract. His play this last season certainly justifies wanting to renegotiate for more money. Whether the Dolphins are willing to cough up the extra cash and cap space for their Pro Bowl cornerback will be determined in the inevitable off-season negotiations. Falling just short of a playoff berth this year, losing a talent like Xavien Howard would be noticeable. However, the Dolphins have several high round draft picks in the coming drafts that could potentially help fill that void.

DEC Management is no stranger to assisting defensive stars in earning a wage worthy of their talent. Elite players like Demarcus Lawrence, Olivier Vernon, and Von Bell have all come to see an extravagant payday while represented by Canter. When it comes time to sit down at the negotiation table, Xavien should feel a sense of comfort having agent David Canter seated next to him.