Xavien Howard officially skipped the Miami Dolphins' entire three-day minicamp, holding out over contract demands.
Having signed a five-year, $75.25 million extension in 2019 that ties him to Miami through the 2024 season, Howard wants a reworked contract just two years later.
The presumption is the All-Pro corner is miffed that he makes less than teammate Byron Jones, who inked a five-year $82.5 million deal in free agency last year. With Howard outplaying Jones significantly, the thought process follows that the former feels like he's due a tweak in salary to balance the scale.
Jones met with the media on the final day of minicamp and was asked about Howard's situation.
"I would love to have him, of course, but like you said, it's none of my business," the cornerback replied. "We had fun last year. We balled out. Obviously, what he did was completely special and unlike anything I've ever seen before. And those skills are ... We love those skills in our defense. So yes, we'd love to have him back, of course."
To be fair to Jones, what is he supposed to say? It's not his fault that Howard signed an extension when he did. And it's not Jones' fault the Dolphins offered him more money to join their defense.
Howard is subject to fines just north of $93,000 for missing all of minicamp. Come training camp, we'll see how serious he is about holding out, as the fines skyrocket to $50,000 per day and cannot be waived.
Coach Brian Flores called it a "unique" situation this week regarding Howard wanting a new deal while playing just one season of the extension. However, with the Dolphins holding almost all the leverage, it could be a situation without a simple solution.