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Dolphins' Xavien Howard Skips Mandatory Minicamp, Holding Out With Four Years Left on Contract

Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard is officially holding out after not showing up to the team's mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. 

Howard signed a five-year deal worth $75 million in 2019 but appears to want a new contract. 

Howard joins Patriots star Stephon Gilmore as another cornerback holding out in hopes of a new deal this offseason. 

The star Dolphins corner can be fined up to $93,085 for skipping all of minicamp. He is facing possible fines of $15,515 after missing day one, $31,030 for day two and $46,540 after day three. 

Howard, 27, was arguably the best cornerback in the NFL last season, leading the league in interceptions (10), which was the most picks a player has had since Antonio Cromartie had 10 in 2007. For his efforts, Howard was named First-Team All Pro and was third in voting for AP Defensive Player of the Year. 

After his stellar 2020, Howard feels he's worth more than the deal he signed two years ago. 

"It's pretty clear this is a contract situation, which we've talked about internally," Dolphins coach Brian Flores told reporters Tuesday. "X is a little bit of a unique situation. He was extended and now we're talking about a potential renegotiation after one year. Those turn into longer conversations. We understand that. We've obviously had a lot of talks and conversations about that and we'll continue to have those and keep them internal, but it's a very unique conversation."

His teammate and fellow cornerback Byron Jones signed a five-year deal worth $82.5 million in March 2020. That deal is reportedly one of the reasons Howard wants a new contract, according to ESPN's Cameron Wolfe.

"We love X. We love him. He's very productive. He's a team player. He's an important player on this team. Unique situation," Flores said. "We want to keep him here. Specific to Byron, markets are set every year and that's part of the conversation. That's what makes this unique."

One of the points of contention in the negotiations is the length of a contract as well, per ESPN.

"After one year, it's honestly something that hasn't been done before," Flores said. "Not saying we're drawing a line in the sand, but different players set the market every year."

Howard has missed 24 games in the past five seasons due to knee injuries and his inability to stay heathy for multiple seasons could be working against him. Last season was the first time he played all 16 games since 2017.

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