Mickey Loomis, "We'd love to have another corner in the building and create some depth." - WWL Radio
We've known for months after releasing Janoris Jenkins that the Saints cornerback situation was "shaky" at best.
Compounding the cornerback issue is the arrest of Marshon Lattimore. The club's defensive backfield leader has fourth-degree felony charges pending for allegedly receiving a stolen handgun in Cleveland, Ohio.
Behind Lattimore on the team's cornerback roster has veterans Patrick Robinson, P.J. Williams, Ken Crawley, Grant Haley, and Keith Washingon in his second year. The rookies are third-round draftee Paulson Adebo, Bryce Thompson, and Lawrence Woods.
The problem is clear. There is not a starter defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and new defensive backs coach Kris Richard can pencil as the starter opposite of Lattimore.
The two possible candidates are Robinson and Williams, but they were backups behind Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple in the previous seasons.
Dre Kirkpatrick has paid a visit to the Saints but left town without a contract offer. Notably, Richard Sherman remains available; still, New Orleans has not moved to acquire his services via free agency.
To put it another way, they need help.
As training camp approaches, should the Saints explore trade options for disgruntled Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard?
The Dolphins inked a 5-year and $72.25M deal with Howard. In 2021, his compensation is approximately $12.1M with a signing bonus of $1.4M and a cap hit of $13.5M.
For New Orleans, Howard's present contract could pose a huge problem. Then again, Saints' Khai Harley and Mickey Loomis have performed miracles with contracts.
A second concern is that the ink on Howard's 'new deal' hasn't fully dried and he's already unhappy.
After a year under his relatively new deal, the 'Phins starter is asking GM Chris Grier for a contract re-do and to up the ante.
Howard, 27, decided to skip last week's mandatory players' minicamp. At the present, there hasn't been open communication in the stalemate.
SI/FanNation AllDolphins publisher and good friend Alain Poupart wanted to pick other publishers' minds regarding possible trade scenario(s) with other NFL teams.
I participated and gave my two cents. Just imagine the genius of Saints' VP of Football Administration's Khai Harley and what he could do with my two cents and a new deal with a talent like Xavien Howard.
Poupart wrote about the Howard situation stating, "the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade of 2019 proved without a doubt that Chris Grier and Flores aren't afraid of moving a high-profile player if they feel the time has come to move on, so that makes a trade absolutely a potential outcome to this impasse."
EXPLORING HOWARD'S MARKET IN THE NFC SOUTH
"Xavien Howard would be an immediate help to any defense in the NFL. However, the Panthers solidified their cornerback room earlier this offseason after signing A.J. Bouye and Rashaan Melvin in free agency and drafting Jaycee Horn eighth overall.
GM Scott Fitterer has said in the past that he will “be in on every deal,” so the Panthers may show some interest, but I wouldn’t expect them to make a serious push for Howard."
Schuyler Callihan, AllPanthers
"The Buccaneers could have utilized an upgrade at outside cornerback opposite of Carlton Davis III this offseason if the right opportunity presented itself.
That opportunity never came, and with less than $2 million in 2021 cap space remaining, a move for Xavien Howard or any top-dollar upgrade is now unrealistic. This leaves Tampa Bay hoping Jamel Dean can take his game to the next level during the 2021 season."
Zach Goodall, AllBucs
"On Wednesday, New Orleans Saints EVP/GM Mickey Loomis went on the record by saying, "We would love to have another corner in the building and create some depth."
The one central problem for New Orleans is their cap space.
The current projections have them with $5.8M available after Drew Brees' retirement, restructured deals, and VP of Football Administration's Khai Harley's brilliance in handling contracts.
The Saints have "kicked the tires" on veteran corners like Dre Kirkpatrick but did not extend any contract offers.
Howard has plenty of upside. DB coach Kris Richard could use him paired with Marshon Lattimore — they would make a great tandem.
As a matter of fact, Lattimore could face a league suspension at some point this season for his arrest in Cleveland this offseason.
It's doubtful Loomis would trade any player ahead of training camp — but, and it's a strong, but — the Saints have a history of making unlikely trades. A player trade may be out of the question, but would they consider giving up draft picks?
Highly probable for Xavien Howard's talent and both Mickey Loomis and Khai Harley sitting at Saints HQ."
Kyle T. Mosley, Saints News Network
Xavien Howard has 56 game appearances in his career. He is a ball-hawk with 22 interceptions, 55 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, 191 tackles, and one touchdown. In 2020, the Baylor alum recorded 10 interceptions on the season.
Read more Xavien Howard trade scenarios from the other SI/FanNation publishers and Alain Poupart's entire article at AllDolphins.com.
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