The morning after Xavien Howard made headlines by requesting a trade on Instagram, Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said he wanted to keep the lines of communication open with the All-Pro cornerback.
"We understand his concerns," Flores said during an appearance on radio station 560 The JOE. "X is a great player, he's good teammate; his teammates love playing with him. I love coaching him. Obviously we've had discussions with him and his representation (David Canter). I talked to him yesterday. I'll keep all those conversations between us, including his contract situation.
"I guess the plan is to continue to have discussions on our part, continue to have talks with him and his representation. We love X. He's a good player. He's competitive. He's here. He's shown up. We expect him to contribute the same way he has. He was out there yesterday, passed conditioning test. He's in good shape. We' understand his concerns, and we'll just try to work through this as best we can."
Howard, who is heading into his sixth NFL season, is unhappy with the contract extension he signed in May 2019 when he had a different agent.
That five-year, $75 million made him at the time the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, though he has fallen to sixth since then and one of those who passed him was Byron Jones, who the Dolphins signed to a five-year, $82.5 million deal during the 2020 offseason.
Flores says he's hoping something "can be worked out" with Howard.
"Where there's a will, there's a way," Flores said. "I think we just continue to have discussions with him, his representation and keep the lines of communication open, continue having dialogue and hopefully you know, work something out. At the same time, we've got 90, 89 other guys that we'll be working with to include X and try to build this team and improve on a day-to-day basis and build team chemistry, and that's where most of our focus is.
"But, yeah, the X thing is something we're having discussions about as well."