Miami Dolphins

Howard ‘definitely’ wants to sign long-term with Miami. But his asking price is huge.

Xavien Howard in just 12 games did enough to earn a Pro Bowl nod and win team MVP honors.

He deserved both, picking off seven passes and establishing himself as a shutdown corner.

So what does Howard, who missed the final four games with a knee injury that still is not 100 percent, want to do for an encore?

Sign the richest contract in league history awarded to a cornerback.

“I think I deserve it,” Howard told the Miami Herald Sunday. “My numbers speak for themselves. Yes, I want to be paid like the best corner in the league.”

Right now, Washington’s Josh Norman has that designation. He signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Redskins in 2016.

So $15 million annually is expected to be the floor when Howard’s representatives begin extension talks this offseason.

Howard is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, and will earn just $1.3 million in 2019 if he does not get a new deal.

He said the organization has yet to approach him about an extension, but that’s not surprising, considering the uncertainty surrounding the team and its decision-makers.

“I don’t know what’s in store right now, what the future may hold,” Howard said. “I’m going to keep training, keep working real hard, keep doing what I’ve got to do. You’ll know if it’s going that way. You’ll see stuff like that. Today, I’m just going to keep working hard and busting my ass.”

Howard added: “I love it here. I want to try to end my career here too. Just hope that’s the plan upstairs. I’m going to keep balling, keep doing my thing.”

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Adam Beasley has covered the Dolphins for the Miami Herald since 2012, and has worked for the newspaper since 2006. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications and has written about sports professionally since 1996.
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