Xavien Howard reports to Dolphins camp without adjusted contract

Xavien Howard's holdout is over.

The cornerback reported to Dolphins training camp on time Tuesday in an arrival the club's social team was happy to publish via Twitter.

Howard was absent for the team's entire three-day minicamp in June, skipping the mandatory offseason work and racking up $93,000 in fines because of his displeasure related to his existing contract. Howard's five-year, $75.25 million extension signed in 2019 is scheduled to pay him a guaranteed salary of slightly over $12 million in 2021, good money for most NFL corners. It hasn't been enough in the eyes of Howard, not after he had a season like he did in 2020.

Dolphins coach Brian Flores was pleased with Howard's arrival but offered no further details on his contract situation.

"We're excited to work with X and all the players that are here," Flores told reporters, via Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Those conversations with X's rep, Chris (Grier) and myself will be internal and confidential."

Howard led the league in interceptions with 10 and earned his first All-Pro honor of his career in 2020. It's precisely the type of performance a team hopes to receive from a player being paid north of $10 million a year, but it came after Howard had signed his extension.

It also occurred in the first year of teammate Byron Jones' new contract, which he'd signed in March of 2020 and pays him more annually than Howard.

Given the passage of time and usual price increase that comes with the open free-agent market, Jones' higher rate of compensation is no surprise, but it seemed to at least play a role in creating a divide between Howard and the Dolphins this offseason. With fines for absences much more expensive in training camp (and not permitted to be waived), Howard ended up reporting Tuesday, checking the box in Miami's roll call without receiving his desire contractual adjustment.

We'll see how active he is during camp, and will likely learn before long just how serious Howard's discontent truly is (or was) this summer.

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