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Xavien Howard

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by SteelersFanIrl, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    Howard is on the trading block by all accounts. Haden is entering his final year most likely. Steelers have a chasm at corner for 2022, especially if Pierre isn’t what we all hope he is

    Howard would be due $12m from the team that acquires him, easily converted in to a signing bonus as part of an extension. He will probably want $18m a year or thereabouts. The Steelers can afford this as they finally have some breathing space in terms of the cap next season

    I know it’s unlikely but so was the trade for Minkah, ironically also from Miami. A deal would probably look like a second rounder, or swapping a first for a second / third. Howard is 28

    What say you fellow Steelers fans? Is it already too much having to pay Watt and Minkah? They have already re-done Heyward, and Tuitt will undoubtedly get a new contract in 2022. Corner might be the most important position of all and it’s a real worry with Haden being 32 and having nothing behind him. They could wait and see if a free agent drops to them in 2022 but I don’t see any I’d like due to hit the market, presumably guys like Jaire Alexander will be re-signed by their teams.

    My post might be about the future of arguably the most important position on defence as much as about any potential trade for Howard. The last two seasons have been good with Haden / Nelson, I’m sick at the thought of going back to the leaky secondary they had before that when the team couldn’t stop anybody. The rest of the team was good enough to win a Super Bowl during that period but rolling out guys like Artie Burns and Cotie Sensenbaugh was undermining a very good team.
     
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  2. Maddog78

    Maddog78 Well-Known Member

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    After Ben is gone, may as well spend on D because you'll have a cheap QB, unless they go after Rodgers or Russ, I suppose.
     
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  3. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    Not going to work I am afraid. A multitude of reasons why.



    For one, nothing to do about the cap hit. He will want to command a new record breaking contract that may likely coincide with his performance; likely upon arriving. Unless Pittsburgh can somehow obtain more money, this is financially impossible and not accounting for signing either Kendrick Green or having T.J. Watt reset the marker as well.



    For two, there is another glaring issue; Xaiven Howard has missed a total of 24 games dating back to 2017 out of the 80 total from 2016-2020. During this time period, Xaiven was effectively put on IR in 2019 and had knee issues dating back to 2018 as well. Is he durable enough to be trusted?! If anything, Howard's injury concerns are a near carbon copy of Bud Dupree's; both players of exceptional athletic ability using said ability for their success. What will he look like two years from now?!



    Three, another issue though that faces a Xaiven Howard to Steelers is one of immense significance; time. Assuming that, we do give up a First Round Pick and allow Xaiven to reset the market for Corners, the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft will have Corner Talent that is slightly better than 2021 and surpasses 2020; more depth and talent being the biggest factors here. Why waste a First Round Pick on a Corner in which there will be a much more cost efficient option come 2022?!



    Biggest one is four. The value of that First Round Pick all together. Who knows how long Big Ben has remaining in him?! For that matter, is it a guarantee that he can finish the season after he capsized a year ago?! Too many unknowns for the most important position in the game not to find a replacement in.



    Overall?! As much as I would love the idea of an elite secondary, perspective and context are required here. Remember that the Steelers BLETSO Team are already well around the Country scouting players for the upcoming Draft; vital positions doubly so and no less. The Rooneys, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin all have made some slip ups here and there but to assume Big Ben can really play two or even three more years given his 2020 conclusion is not ideal. Heck, even if he could, that is still delaying the inevitable; Howard or not.



    Xaiven Howard, as much as I would love to have him, sadly will not happen. Too many other needs to address at present.
     
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  4. Formerscribe

    Formerscribe Well-Known Member

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    Also, Xavien Howard may also want the team that signs him to spell his first name correctly. :)
     
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  5. thorn058

    thorn058 Well-Known Member

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    Damion Auto-correct strikes again! His power is undisputed.
     
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  6. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    Unbeatable it seems as well. Gets all of us at some point!! :lolol:
     
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  7. steelersrule6

    steelersrule6 Well-Known Member

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    Pass, he wants to be one of the highest paid cornerbacks.
     
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  8. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I get it and that is more or less the response I expected. I can’t help but think the balance in terms of team building is a little off with so much of their cap resources going to the front seven. What is the future for the cornerback group if this is Haden’s last year given that they have not shown much of an ability to build a secondary in the draft?

    I don’t think you can win in this league without good cornerback play unless you are absolutely exceptional on offence. JMO
     
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  9. steelersrule6

    steelersrule6 Well-Known Member

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    How would they fit him under the cap this season?
     
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  10. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    The acquiring team can turn his salary in to a bonus as part of an extension when he signs. In the Steelers case they can also clear significant room by reworking Tuitt and / or Haden. Money is not the problem.

    Injury history and age would rule out a first round pick for me. Presumably the Dolphins will want a first rounder but I can’t see them getting one.

    My overall point is that the cornerback position is incredibly important and there appears to be no succession plan when Haden hangs em up, yet we will have the most expensive position unit in football in the defensive line. I think that’s a questionable strategy quite frankly.
     
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  11. SteelerGlenn

    SteelerGlenn

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    Why do people always say this? If we want to sign a player we can get the money needed.
     
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  12. S.T.D

    S.T.D Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree, but X. Howard is a bad fit because of Money, and Injuries.
    I do wish they'd bring in someone though. Because I'm only sold on one Cb, and He's getting Old.
    Before anyone says anything...I'm not saying the Guys we got won't be good...I just don't know them 2 be good yet.
     
  13. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    This exactly. How are the Chiefs, Packers and Saints always able to keep all their superstars when it seems impossible. The cap can always be worked around, within reason.
     
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  14. Roonatic

    Roonatic Well-Known Member

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    The front seven is most important in a 3-4 imo, along with a competent safety. Imo the Steelers look at cornerback as a luxury when they can afford it. :shrug:
     
  15. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    I did not realise he had missed so many games until @AskQuestionsLater pointed that out and it would certainly put me off a bit.

    In terms of money I’d have no issue paying a premium for a #1 cornerback if they are available, but teams that have them generally don’t let them go unless they are paid handsomely, like the Jags with Ramsey
     
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  16. S.T.D

    S.T.D Well-Known Member

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    When I say money ...Myself I believe He will want 2 much for His Age, Past injuries, and plus the Draft pick, or picks you'd give up. Otherwise I'm all In.
     
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  17. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    I’m sorry, but that is a completely crazy strategy if that’s the case. I think they have that defensive line because that’s just how things have worked out with their team building, Artie being a bust and failing to hit on other secondary guys in the draft etc.

    When Haden fell in to their lap in 2017 they jumped at the chance to take him. A really good corner is arguably the most important thing you need after a QB and WR1
     
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  18. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    On most cases I agree with you here. This one though I cannot I am afraid. T.J. Watt will command $30 Million a Year easily. That alone would be tough. Now, as for Howard, remember that Jalen Ramsey already has reset the CB Market at $20 Million per year total. Howard will command more than that; $23 Million per year being my biggest guess. Of course it can be higher or lower than my number of 23 but for Howard, no lower than 20. Now it does feasibly sound like we can sign both. However, there are other players to sign come 2022 as well...




    - Minkah Fitzpatrick (Likely going to reset the Safety Market; set now at $15.225 by Justin Simmons. That said, said current number will likely be obsolete as Jamal Adams is likely to reset the market again.)

    - Cameron Sutton (Unless James Pierre and Justin Layne both can pan out, doubt they let Sutton get away here.)

    - Terrell Edmunds (Likely going to be close to what Minkah has although lower. Still not easy either way.)

    - JuJu Smith Schuster (All depends on him this season. Will be interesting for certain. Doubt he wants anything lower than $17 though.)

    - Chuks Okorafor/Zach Banner (Cannot sign both. That said, one is due a big payday if that one performs well. The other will go. Who outperforms who is paramount as this will be CRITICAL. Highest paid Right Tackle in Ryan Ramczyk makes $19.2 Million while highest paid Left Tackle in Trent Williams makes $23.01 Million.)





    Now, assuming the worst (including Rudolph), that honestly leaves the team little of anything come time for the NFL Draft. Yes, that First Round pick will be gone but the other picks need to be accounted for signing as well. Add in the historic nature of Kevin Colbert adding additional depth before, during or even shortly after the NFL Preseason and one is likely looking at Pittsburgh over the cap. How much over is something I cannot say for certain but even with a $86.4 Million Salary Cap to work with per OverTheCap, much of that cap space is going to be annihilated by the likes of T.J., Minkah (pending Jamal Adams) and Xaiven Howard already. That essentially leaves the team little to no wiggle room to attempt to sign the remaining five players and never mind just one.



    Again, I do understand the ideology of it; strengthen the Defense so that, by the time "the guy" appears, he will not have to shoulder the burden alone. However and, as stated before, the team is likely looking into Big Ben's successor in 2022 via the BLETSO team as we speak. Trading away a First Round pick greatly decreases our chances of either acquiring said QB or trading up via multiple picks to get said guy. That leaves me to my second rebuttal regarding what @SteelersFanIrl stated...






    Answer. Their QBs and contracts..... more so KC but for a time Green Bay and NO as well. All three are capable of this as they have the guy to do with the ability to manipulate the cap around him as well; super teams as you might call them. That said, in the Salary Cap era, very seldom has this ever worked; the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers being a pseudo example of this. After that, such teams usually dissipate and are often in Salary Cap Hell; the Saints again being the biggest example here. The reason though why the Packers and Chiefs have not run into nearly as many issues is due to the contracts of Mahomes and Rodgers. Mahomes "Mega Pay Day" is actually more Team Friendly once the major details are unearthed. For one, that whole "$503 MILLION DOLLARS!!" has a lot more to do with Mahomes actually meeting an immense level of requirements (more can be found here). For two, there is no reason to assume Mahomes is going to be able to; not for a lack of talent either. QB Contracts usually get re-negotiated; the Rodgers Saga being the latest example. Most importantly, for three, Mahomes Average is $45 a year; a far cry from the predicated $50+ Million he could have easily leveraged for. Add the Salary Cap going up in 2022 and Mahomes Contract, while immense, is essentially peanuts. Why? His cap hit, while highest in the league, all but guarantees he is not going anywhere; nor is the amount of money the Chiefs will have to operate by that point. All this said, even accounting for the likes of the Chiefs, Packers and Saints, none of this really has much impact to do with the Steelers... at least not when it comes to Xaiven Howard. Why?



    For Pittsburgh to even attempt such a trade, they would have to believe that not only Big Ben can still be able to win them the big one but also believe that, between Mason and Dwayne, either or are capable of doing the same soon thereafter. Even if accounting for such a hypothetical, that still leaves the major problems I have brought up to Glenn times two. How so? In addition to paying Howard, Watt and Minkah, now either presumed guy will need his share of the cut as well; $40+ Million and no lower than that for the current going rate of what constitutes as "Franchise QBs". However, even this figure that has been listed cannot be relied on as Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield will all need extended soon as well; further compounding this issue all together. Remember that a rivalry just does not happen on the field. The moment that said trade is executed, the moment the likes of Cleveland and Baltimore will expedite their plans to sign both Mayfield and Jackson respectively; an even bigger cap based issue come 2022 being the result.




    Overall and, again, I would love nothing but to feature such a dynamic defense.... but at what cost? What difference would it make even if the Steelers fielded some assumed legendary unit? Sure.. a better defense... but the loss of two Offensive Tackles, One Corner and a Wide Receiver?



    Yikes!!! :eek:
     
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  19. Roonatic

    Roonatic Well-Known Member

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    In a 3-4 defense? I'd give linebacker the most important piece.
     
  20. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    One final aspect I almost forgot to cover here. Yes, it is true that having both a Number One Corner and a Number One Safety are the ideal setup as both essentially create a near impervious Pass Defense. However, what is being lost in context here is which position Pittsburgh has favored heavily since 2000; Safety. The shift from an Elite Corner to an Elite Safety was due to the explosive usage of the Tight End position with the further improvements of the West Coast Offense that were in the AFC at the time; Shannon Shapre and Tony Gonzalez being the biggest prime suspects here. While Ike Taylor and Joe Haden are rock solid corners, Troy Polamalu and Minkah Fitzpatrick are massive reasons as to why Pittsburgh's Defenses often finish no lower than Top 5 Overall when healthy. Why? Those two have the ability to nullify the middle of the field and defend along the boundary lines of the sticks; both essential parts to the West Coast. By having a Defensive Back parlaying in not just one but multiple aspects of the middle field while being able to cover the hashes, West Coast Offenses had/have little to no chance to succeed as their primary target zones of the field have been limited or neutralized. This cannot be done with a Corner; doubly so now that teams just slide their WR1's all over anymore along the formation. Very few Corners are capable of continually honing in on one player; doubly so if that WR has tremendous chemistry with their QB a la Aaron Rodgers/Devante Adams. With a safety though, there is a better chance to negate such attempts as motions can be nullified better by a Safety due to their overall positioning on the field.


    Keep in mind we had Joe Haden in 2018? However, no elite safety; the third most pass plays of 40+ yards or more that year as a result. Granted, losing Ryan Shazier the year before clearly did not help but not having that elite safety was equally bad; worse in some cases. Post Minkah? Very few of those.
     
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  21. Formerscribe

    Formerscribe Well-Known Member

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    Is Xavien Howard really going to get more money than Jalen Ramsey? I'm not sure that is the given you made it out to be.
     
  22. Steel Hog

    Steel Hog Well-Known Member

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    Why is this guy on the trading block if he's that good?
     
  23. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    Contract dispute. Miami is not willing to pay Xavien what he believes he is worth. Xavien wants to move on. Miami is asking for a high price.



    That said, not sure if Miami is going to get it as easily as they did with Minkah. Major differences between Minkah and Xavien regarding their trades?! One is on a Rookie Contract and is younger while another wants to reset the market but is getting closer to 30. Given the usual pattern of what happens to corners after age 30 with his injury history, to jettison a 1st for Xavien is quite a tough pill to swallow.
     
  24. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the detailed response. Just by way of retort I don’t envision Miami getting a first for him, he is not worth that given the factors discussed, age, contract etc.

    Even if we accept the rest of what you are saying (and I made some of the same points in my opening post), and even taking Howard out of the equation what is the plan at corner post Joe Haden then?

    Should the team really prioritise guys like Terrell, Juju and Chuks over having a #1 corner? We have seen what that kind of team building philosophy looks like in the past. Even going back to the Buffalo game last year that Haden missed, Allen and Diggs absolutely had their way with the much vaunted Steelers D because they couldn’t cover Diggs. No other position gets as cruelly exposed when you are bad there.

    I just think it is a position that needs to be addressed very soon, unless they feel Haden can play on another two years at a high level. Howard is probably a bad fit for a number of reasons but another Haden is unlikely to fall in to their lap at the same time. They will need to invest in the position one way or another at some point and their record in that area does not fill us with hope that they can do it cheaply in the draft.
     
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  25. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    Can’t agree. Stopping the pass is the most important function on defence regardless of scheme, especially against better teams that have a good QB / WR combo like Allen / Diggs, Mahomes / Hill, Rodgers / Adams etc. Teams like that will destroy you in the playoffs if you can’t limit their WR1
     
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