What would the Ravens have had to give up in a Xavien Howard trade?

Ravens, Xavien Howard Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Xavien Howard Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens didn’t end up making any deals at the trade deadline this year, but it wasn’t due to a lack of trying. And the most notable player they were connected to was reportedly star cornerback Xavien Howard.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that the Ravens explored a variety of trades at the deadline and specifically targeted Howard.

General manager Eric DeCosta has an extensive history of making high-profile additions at the deadline and he nearly made another one this year.

Many comparisons could be drawn to the Ravens’ trade for Marcus Peters a couple of years ago — another star cornerback Baltimore targeted at the deadline.

But there’s one major difference between those two players. Whereas Peters cost the Ravens little more than a fifth-round pick, Howard would have come at a premium.

What exactly might it have cost the Ravens to trade for Howard?

The Ravens would have had to give up significant draft capital for Xavien Howard

Rapoport went into detail about how much it would have taken for the Miami Dolphins to ship Howard to Baltimore. According to Rapoport, the Dolphins were asking for “a first-rounder and more” to acquire the All-Pro cornerback.

Part of the reason that price tag is so high, aside from the quality of player he is, is due to the fact that the Ravens would need the Dolphins to take on virtually all of Howard’s $13.785 million salary, or at least what’s remaining of it.

The Ravens have next-to-no cap space at the moment and they’ve nearly run out of realistic options to create more. Trading for Howard would have had to come with the caveat that Miami eats his 2021 salary.

For the Dolphins to do that, they would have needed a significant amount of draft capital. The Ravens, who are notoriously stingy with their draft picks, would have been hard-pressed to match Miami’s asking price.

And that right there is why a deal did not get done.

If the Ravens had a bit more cap space and were able to eat some of Howard’s salary, it’s possible they could have lowered the Dolphins’ asking price to a reasonable level.

Next. 5 players who must step up following the DeShon Elliott injury. dark

But with this in mind, it isn’t hard to see why this trade ultimately didn’t happen.