The Seattle Seahawks are set to enter the season with a lot of uncertainty surrounding the secondary unless the team can pull off a blockbuster move. Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling recently outlined a trade that every team should make before training camp and detailed why the Seahawks are a prime candidate to acquire Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard.
“With Russell Wilson speculation fully behind the Seattle Seahawks, maybe the best thing they could do from this point forward is find relative low-buy moves to boost Wilson’s complementary defense,” Roling noted. “That defense, after all, lost Shaquill Griffin in free agency and could use another infusion of talent besides fourth-round pick Tre Brown. Looking across the AFC to a potentially available name like Xavien Howard in Miami could be a savvy resolution. Despite the trade speculation, Howard only let up a 51.5 completion percentage on 101 targets last year. This is the sort of win-now move the Seahawks could look to make that might be worth the long-term cost if it also plays a role in keeping the franchise passer in town over the long-term, too.”
Howard Skipped Minicamp as He Seeks a New Deal Despite Recently Signing a Contract Extension
Howard’s resume is why the lockdown corner is looking for a new contract that could prompt the Dolphins to explore a trade. Howard has made the Pro Bowl in two of his last three seasons, and also was named an All-Pro in 2020. The Dolphins corner posted a league-high 10 interceptions, 20 pass deflections and 51 tackles in 16 starts.
Howard sat out the team’s mandatory minicamp as he seeks a new deal, but the corner still has four seasons remaining on a five-year, $75.25 million contract. According to the Miami Herald, Howard is frustrated that he is making less money than his teammate Byron Jones.
“It does not appear that the Dolphins’ position about trading Howard has changed,” Miami Herald detailed. “According to a source, Howard is unhappy about being paid less than Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones, who had two interceptions last season compared with Howard’s 10. Jones is due to earn $14 million in base salary this season, Howard $12.1 million. Howard’s $75.2 million deal is the fourth highest in the NFL in total value for a cornerback, trailing the Rams’ Jalen Ramsey ($100 million), Baltimore’s Marlon Humphrey ($97.5 million) and Jones ($82.5 million).”
Pete Carroll Predicts a ‘Wide Open’ Competition at Cornerback
There is a minimal chance the Seahawks will trade for a disgruntled player who is looking for a massive new deal. The Seahawks already did something similar last offseason by acquiring Jamal Adams, and the team is still in negotiations with the star safety as he is entering the final year of his contract.
While Howard makes a lot of sense from a need standpoint, the Seahawks are somewhat limited given their salary cap situation, especially as they look to pay Adams. The Seahawks lost Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar in free agency leaving a major gap at their starting cornerback positions heading into next season. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is expecting a “wide open” competition at cornerback during training camp.
“The cornerback position is going to be really competitive,” Carroll noted, per Seahawks.com. “We’ve got a good structure of guys, we’ve got different style of guys who can play. We’ve got some long guys, some big guys, we’ve got some quickness, we’ve got a whole mixture of guys who can play. The competition is going to be wide open; it’s going to take us all of camp to figure it out.”