“It’s up to them to decide,” Howard, an All-Pro cornerback, said Saturday in his first public comments since his trade request.
Howard posted a statement on Instagram Tuesday night in which he questioned whether Miami had acted in good faith in its $ 75 million five-year extension signed in 2019 and made it clear he was unhappy and wanted to leave.
“I don’t feel valued or respected by the Dolphins,” Howard said in the statement. “Just as they can take a business-oriented approach, so can I. “
A central problem with the contract is that it pays $ 12 million in unsecured money in 2021, which ranks 12th among NFL cornerbacks despite Howard’s 10 league-leading interceptions in 2020.
But Howard was slightly softer in his stance when speaking to the Miami media after practice on Saturday. His interview lasted less than three minutes. Howard (ankle) was a limited practice participant in his first training camp action.
“Sure, I hope so,” Howard said staying with the Dolphins on a reworked deal. “It’s a process. I hear this and that. Right now I’m just here, here to support the team. “
When asked if he would play in the preseason, Howard said, “We’ll see when we get there,” but stressed he was “still motivated” to play well. Howard is one of the best in the game in this role, with 22 interceptions since 2016, placing second in the league behind Marcus Peters of Baltimore.
Howard said his relationship with Miami starting cornerback Byron Jones was strong despite Jones signing a bigger $ 82.5 million deal as Miami’s second corner, a point Howard used in his statement to advocate for a stronger deal.
Howard and his agent, David Canter, have proposed that Miami either beef up guarantees in 2021 or transfer money from future years to this year to keep the player happy. Miami did not follow up on those offers, but coach Brian Flores said he hoped Miami would continue to discuss the matter with Howard.
When asked if he was okay with making the squad if the Dolphins decided he was too valuable to be traded, Howard simply replied, “I’m here.”