Xavien Howard and the Buccaneers look like a great, but unlikely fit
From a production and fit standpoint, this trade should look like an obvious decision for the Buccaneers. A corner with 11 interceptions and 24 passes defended in his last 21 games would be the perfect pairing with Carlton Davis, but the odds are incredibly long of making the deal happen.
Tampa currently has next to no cap space. While the team has shown a willingness to restructure contracts to free up money, the Bucs would need approximately five to six million dollars in the coming weeks just to backload Howard’s contract, and that isn’t to mention the further cost down the road of paying Howard more than any other corner in the NFL.
To make matters worse, the Buccaneers also have to extend Carlton Davis soon, and his price tag is only going up as well. Having two of the highest-paid corners in football wouldn’t be a terrible spot for the Bucs to be, especially with the importance of the position. Still, it would require an even greater level of cap wizardry that the league hasn’t seen before.
It may be fun to dream, but Howard will likely end up with a different team that has a greater need. The Buccaneers can already hang their hat on a growing secondary that could be one of the best in the league, but it’s hard not to dream about helping it take that next step immediately by adding Howard.
Bruce Arians and the rest of the front office have done plenty to subvert expectations on decisions already during their tenure, but Xavien Howard could prove too much to acquire.
The Buccaneer defense is already on track to be one of the best in the NFL next season, but it is impossible to deny how much a trade for Howard would already impact a great defense.
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