The Miami Dolphins have made Xavien Howard the highest-earning cornerback in the NFL by agreeing a contract extension that puts him on a new five-year $90million deal.
His future in Miami seemed to be in doubt just eight months ago when Howard held out of mandatory minicamp ahead of his trade request from the Dolphins, who are 9/2 to win the AFC East title later this year.
The two-time NFL interception leader eventually signed a re-worked agreement that allowed the 29-year-old to earn up to $3.5m in fresh incentives in 2021, with more guaranteed money added in 2022.
The new agreement includes $50.691m in new money that will give him an average-per-year salary of $25.345m - around 25 per cent more than Los Angeles Rams' All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey receives from the Super Bowl champions - for the next two years.
After that, the annual average drops down to $18m per year, which would still be fourth-highest among cornerbacks the NFL.
Howard, a second-round selection in the 2016 draft, had established himself as a Dolphins starter by his second season in Miami and earned the first of three Pro Bowl selections in 2018.
His contract extension is the latest eye-catching move by the AFC East franchise, who have already hit the headlines with a number of their decisions.
They sacked head coach Brian Flores after missing out on the play-offs last season and brought in Mike McDaniel as his replacement.
The Dolphins then signed ex-New Orleans Saints left tackle Terron Armstead - the top free agent of the 2022 class - and traded with the Kansas City Chiefs to acquire jet-heeled wide receiver Tyreek Hill.