Barry Jackson

Dolphins make Howard highest-paid cornerback in NFL history

Xavien Howard wanted to make Pro Bowl since rookie year.

Xavien Howard admits to wanting to be selected to the Pro Bowl since he was a rookie.
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Xavien Howard admits to wanting to be selected to the Pro Bowl since he was a rookie.

The Dolphins have agreed to a five-year contract with Xavien Howard that will make him the highest paid cornerback in NFL history, his agent told The Miami Herald on Thursday.

Howard agreed to a five-year, $76.5 million contract which includes $46 million in guaranteed money and $51 million over the first three seasons.

The total value surpasses the five-year, $75 million that Washington gave Josh Norman in 2016. That had been the largest deal ever given to a cornerback.

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier and Howard’s agent, Damarius Bilbo, had been negotiating for weeks and struck a deal on Thursday.

Howard had one season left on his rookie contract. Bilbo said his $1.3 million in base salary will remain the same for 2019 before the extension kicks in.

“X wanted to stay in Miami,” Bilbo said. “He wanted to be part of that culture. He wanted to make Miami his home. Chris Grier and [Dolphins executive] Brandon Shore were so easy to work with. They did what was right for the team in keeping a young productive player. They are trying to change the culture and keeping some young talent around.”

Howard, 25, finished No. 1 in the NFL in passer rating against at 62.9 (minimum 50 targets). He also tied for the league lead with seven interceptions despite missing the final four weeks with a knee injury.

For the season, he allowed 29 of 57 passes to be caught for 469 yards, four touchdowns and the seven picks.

Overall, Howard has 11 interceptions in 35 NFL games and is coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance.

DOLPHINS ADD DEFENSIVE TACKLE

In addition to announcing the signing of 17 undrafted free agents previously reported by The Miami Herald, the Dolphins also signed undrafted Mississippi State rookie defensive tackle Cory Thomas.

Thomas played in 39 games and had six starts and produced 52 tackles, two sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles.

Here’s a look at the Dolphins’ undrafted free agent signings on offense.

Here’s a look at the Dolphins’ undrafted free agent signings on defense.

As of Thursday evening, the Dolphins had signed all of their draft picks except guard Michael Deiter, the team’s third round selection.

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