Oakland Raiders sign OT Austin Howard

This is an overpay for Austin Howard, who has been a solid, but unspectacular right tackle for the Jets in 2 seasons as a starter, grading out 31st among offensive tackles on Pro Football Focus in 2012 and 47th in 2013. Giving him 30 million over 5 years with 15 million guaranteed looks bad in comparison to some of the deals given to right tackles recently. Sebastian Vollmer (4 years, 17 million), Andre Smith (3 years, 18 million), and Phil Loadholt (4 years, 25 million) all were re-signed last off-season and all 3 of them are better than Howard.

However, the Raiders have a ton of cap room and money to spend to get to the salary floor and they’re hardly a premium destination so they can get away with overpaying guys more than most teams. I’d much rather see them overpay someone who can be a young building block for the team than appropriately pay someone who is 30+ and won’t be around much longer, which is much of what they’ve done this off-season (Matt Schaub, Antonio Smith, LaMarr Woodley, Justin Tuck, Donald Penn). Austin Howard is only going into his age 27 season can be a fixture at right tackle for a few seasons.

Grade: B-




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