The Chiefs Don’t “Badly Need” Xavien Howard

The Chiefs Don’t “Badly Need” Xavien Howard

To those who don’t know, Kansas City Chiefs news outlet Arrowhead Pride recently posted an article stating that the Chiefs badly need Xavien Howard. Let’s just say the said tweet stirred controversy. It made highly-touted and three-time First-Team All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu sound off:

Adding on, one Twitter user responded to Mathieu about this. The user stated, “own them, (Xavien) Howard would be nice tho”. This was Mathieu’s response:

It seems as though writers/fans aren’t understanding much anymore. The moment a big-name player hops in free agency or the trade block, of course, you’d want him. Who wouldn’t want a star and an All-Pro corner in their lineup? However:

The Chiefs Can’t Afford Him At The Moment

According to Howard’s contract, this is what he is supposed to be owed for the next four years in just base salary.

  • 2021: $12.075 million
  • 2022: $12.375 million
  • 2023: $11.4 million
  • 2024: $11.65 million

The Chiefs only have $7.942 million in useable cap space this season. This means that the Chiefs must release or trade someone with a sizeable contract to be able to afford him. Everyone on the offense is immediately out because the Chiefs need all those starters. No one is going to trade for Frank Clark until the legal situations are finished off. Mathieu is your number one secondary player, so he’s out of the question, too. All of the main cornerbacks’ contracts are too low to be able to afford him unless you stack (which won’t happen).

You could trade Anthony Hitchens, but do you really want Ben Niemann taking the starting role? Yeah, no; he’s best as a backup at the moment. Plus, the last position the Dolphins need is another linebacker; they already signed Jerome Baker to a three-year, $38 million contract and they just drafted Jalean Phillips in the first round. Also, Emmanuel Ogbah and Benardrick McKinney exist already on the Dolphins’ roster.

What about 2022? We have to work on Orlando Brown and Tyrann Mathieu’s extensions, and with Howard around and with him wanting a new deal, we may not be able to afford either of them. To add on, Mahomes’ huge extension starts next year, with him taking already $35 million. The Chiefs have about $22 million left in cap, but this is before resigning anyone.

They can’t trade for him, especially with him wanting more money. I would love him on the team; however, it’s not feasible unless a miracle happens.

The Chiefs Have Cornerbacks Already

Let’s flashback to what Mathieu stated earlier. “We have been to back-to-back SBs with #21 & #35”. The Chiefs already have good depth at the cornerback core. Even though Breeland left, the Chiefs have an emerging star in L’Jarius Sneed, taking the reigns as the Chiefs’ CB1. In nine total games played, Sneed allowed 31 receptions on 59 targets (59.6 completion percentage), allowed only one receiving touchdown (vs Saints), and a 54.2 QB rating when thrown his way. So, we already have Breeland’s replacement who is still learning training. Remember, this will be Sneed’s first training camp due to Covid knocking it all out.

#35, Charvarius Ward, is still on the roster and will be the Chiefs’ number two cornerback heading into the season. Having a returning two-time Super Bowl start is crucial to the Chiefs’ performance; plus, it seems like he’s 100% healthy. Also, the Chiefs just traded for a first-round talent in Mike Hughes, who could turn his career around in Kansas City. In terms of depth, the Chiefs still have Rashad Fenton and another first-round talent trying to elevate his game in DeAndre Baker.

The Chiefs are fine at cornerback, but I’ll reiterate this. I wouldn’t mind Howard on the team. He would improve it greatly, but in terms of cap, him wanting more money, and the players we already have, he isn’t the main player we should be chasing after, even with draft picks. Save those picks for positions they’ll need in the future.

No Faith

When you say a team badly needs a star, it means you have little to no faith in what you have now. If we were in dire need of a cornerback, then I can see why people would be saying this, and I wouldn’t be writing this. However, as proven above, the Chiefs DON’T badly need a star corner. It shows that whoever wrote this, and anyone who agrees with the fact that it’s badly needed, has little to no faith in Sneed and Ward; Howard would be a definite starter if he were to come in, and it shows you don’t trust either of them.

As proven above, Sneed can ball. Ward had a downward season in 2020, but in 2019 when he was fully healthy, he held quarterbacks to a 47.2 completion percentage, one touchdown, and a 65.2 QB rating when thrown his way in 16 games. He also had two interceptions.

If you recall, he had fractured his hand in Week 1, making him miss Week 2 and not being able to start in Week 3. Ward had to play with a wrap-around his hand for a majority of the season, and while his play was still solid, his numbers dropped, allowing four touchdowns and a 57.1 completion percentage through 14 regular-season games (13 starting). That is still solid, even with one of your hands being wrapped fully. His play in the Super Bowl was good too, allowing only one completion on three targets for 16 yards, with a 52.1 QB rating when thrown his way. With him healthy, he can easily go back to his 2019 form where we won a Super Bowl.

Overall

Saying the Chiefs badly need Xavien Howard is a huge stretch. Do I and fans of the Chiefs want Howard on the team? Yes, we do. Is he badly needed? No. We have a good core already with Sneed, Ward, Hughes, and Fenton leading the charge, and we have gone to back-to-back Super Bowls with #21 and #35. Howard is not ‘badly needed’, so let’s cut that already.

He is badly wanted. That should be the headline, if anything, as he isn’t a need. He is a want.


Want more sports content? Be sure to check out the site here for more on all your favorite leagues, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @HunterStanton8 and @BorderFuelHQ for more Chiefs content! Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic day!

Hunter Stanton

KC Chiefs Reporter and Editor-in-Chief for Border Fuel Sports / Site Writer and Content Director for Arrowhead Live / Attending Florida Atlantic in pursuit of a sports management degree / Metal and Anime enthusiast Follow me on Twitter @HunterStanton8

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