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Xavien Howard loves feeling like an underdog

The Dolphins started this offseason in rebuild mode, but with the acquisition of Josh Rosen, Brian Flores and Miami may not be as bad as everyone thinks.

Xavien Howard signed a new five-year deal with the Dolphins this offseason that made him the highest-paid cornerback in the league and residual good feelings from securing that contract can overcome a lot of negatives.

Negatives like the popular perception of his team’s chances in the 2019 season, for example. Training camp and the preseason still have to play out, but it seems unlikely that will be changing the general opinion that the Dolphins are destined for a lot of losing this year.

During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Howard said that heading into the season with that cloud overhead is just fine with him.

“We’re floating under the radar right now,” Howard said. “I love feeling like an underdog. I just tell people ‘Don’t be surprised what you see from the Miami Dolphins this year.’”

Howard’s comfort level may be helped by having head coach Brian Flores on hand. He said he likes the coach’s commitment to discipline and conditioning, which supports the team’s belief they hired the right guy even if this year plays out according to the low outside expectations.