Austin Howard

East Notes: Beckham, Foster, Redskins, Jets

The Giants‘ opponent Sunday will be dealing with a greater volume of injury replacements, but the Big Apple’s NFC team will be missing its biggest star. Odell Beckham Jr. will not play in Week 14. The Giants ruled out Beckham for their Redskins rematch because of a bruised quadriceps. Although Beckham practiced this week on a limited basis, the Giants are sitting him for the first time this season. New York’s 4-8 record may well be contributing to the decision. This season has not gone well for Big Blue, but Beckham has enjoyed a productive slate after an ankle injury wiped out most of his 2017 season. He has five 100-plus-yard performances and exited Week 13 with 1,052 receiving yards, six receiving scores and two touchdown passes.

Here’s the latest from the Eastern divisions:

  • In addition to three 2018 arrests, Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster was briefly detained by Santa Clara, Calif., police this year, A.J. Perez of USA Today reports (on Twitter). In October, police were dispatched to Foster’s place of residence following a 911 call. A neighbor indicated he heard a “loud disturbance” from Foster’s residence. The woman whose domestic-abuse accusations led to two of Foster’s arrests this year, Elissa Ennis, was with the embattled defender at the time of the detainment, per the police report. Ennis told police Foster was her boyfriend and “nothing happened.” Ennis this week expressed shock the Redskins claimed Foster, whom Tampa police arrested last month for alleged domestic violence.
  • Darron Lee has not made the Jets‘ 2016 first-round investment look too good, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com does not expect the team to pick up the inside linebacker’s fifth-year option (Twitter link). It would cost the Jets around $10MM to keep Lee under contract through the 2020 season, and Cimini believes it would be an ill-advised decision for Gang Green to exercise the now-suspended linebacker’s option. Lee’s played better this season but has been inconsistent throughout his career.
  • Washington may be planning to go with tackles Austin Howard and Ty Nsekhe at guard against the Giants, per Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. Jay Gruden has this option at his incredibly depleted guard spot, or the fifth-year Redskins coach could deploy Luke Bowanko or Zac Kerin. Gruden indicated he may use a rotation. The NFC East leaders for most of this season, the Redskins lost Jonathan Cooper — also an in-season replacement — for the year and will be without Tony Bergstrom. Howard, Bowanko and Kerin were in-season pickups for a Redskins team that now has five offensive linemen on IR. Washington is 6-6 and on the verge of seeing this injury-plagued season veer off the playoff course.

Redskins To Sign OT Austin Howard

Redskins have agreed to sign veteran tackle Austin Howard, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Howard will help replenish an offensive line that has been rocked by injuries. 

[RELATED: Redskins Lose Scherff, Lauvao, Richardson For Season]

On Monday, the Redskins announced that guards Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao are done for the year with season-ending injuries. On top of that, the Redskins could be without star tackle Trent Williams for up to a month thanks to a thumb malady. Howard is the first significant addition to the Redskins’ O-Line this week, but he surely won’t be the last.

Howard has bounced around lately but has given multiple teams quality right tackle work in recent years. After playing well in spots for the Raiders from 2014-16, Howard caught on with the Ravens and gave them 16 starts at right tackle. However, the 31-year-old blocker could not commandeer the Colts’ right-side job and was released before the regular season.

Howard already banked $1.3MM this year thanks to the guarantee in his Colts deal, and he’ll have an opportunity to make some more scratch with the Redskins. He’ll also have a chance to be a hero for the Redskins, who are fighting to keep their lead in the NFC East despite their rash of injuries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/2/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • T Andrew Nelson (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Texans Work Out Austin Howard, Chris Clark

One of the Texans’ three offseason additions to their starting offensive line did not last through Week 1, and the team is auditioning Seantrel Henderson replacement options. This includes one familiar name in Houston.

Chris Clark trekked to the Texans facility on Tuesday for a workout, joining Austin Howard and Cornelius Lucas in doing so, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

An eight-year veteran, Clark spent the past three seasons with the Texans. He started 26 games, becoming an essential depth piece after injuries to Duane Brown and Derek Newton thrust him into the starting lineup. The Texans placed Henderson on IR on Monday because of an ankle injury.

Howard has bounced around lately but has given multiple teams quality right tackle work in recent years. After playing well in spots for the Raiders from 2014-16, Howard caught on with the Ravens and gave them 16 starts at right tackle. However, the 31-year-old blocker could not commandeer the Colts’ right-side job and was released before the regular season.

A former UDFA, Lucas has served as mostly a backup in his four-season NFL run — spent with the Lions and Rams.

Houston added Henderson, Zach Fulton and Senio Kelemete and may start third-round rookie Martinas Rankin at left tackle after moving Julie’n Davenport to the right side. Clark, 32, and Howard, 31, though, obviously bring far more experience.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Cut Austin Howard, Reach 53-Man Roster

The Colts are at the 53-man roster max after making a bundle of transactions, including the release of offensive tackle Austin Howard.

[RELATED: Colts Cut John Simon]

The Colts invested $1.3MM guaranteed in Howard, but he was medically cleared until late July and struggled in camp and during the preseason. The Colts dangled him in trade talks this week, but there were no takers for him.

Despite his issues this summer, Howard had a solid 2017 with the Ravens and graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 36 offensive tackle. If healthy, he could draw interest from other teams.

The Colts also placed defensive end Chris McCain, linebacker Jeremiah George, defensive end Anthony Johnson, and tight end Ross Travis on injured reserve.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Colts’ moves:

Waived:

Last year, Bond ascended to the starting center job when Ryan Kelly broke his foot late in training camp. Unfortunately, a torn quad landed him on IR in October. This year, he’ll be looking for work elsewhere.

Alie-Cox was a former basketball player looking to transition to tight end. Although Antonio Gates and others have successfully made the jump, Alie-Cox has yet to find similar success.

In addition to the aforementioned moves, the Colts also waived the following players with an injury designation. If they clear waivers, then they revert to the Colts’ Injured Reserve list:

Colts’ Austin Howard, Eagles’ Chance Warmack Among OL On Trade Block?

Colts tackle Austin Howard, Eagles guard Chance Warmack, Bears center Hroniss Grasu, and Raiders tackle Jylan Ware are among the offensive linemen who could be made available via trade this weekend, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com.

Trade candidates are often simply players who will be released if no offer is made, and Howard is a clear case of that principle. The Colts already invested $1.3MM guaranteed in Howard, but he’s not a lock to open as Indianapolis’ starting right tackle or even make the club’s 53-man roster. A veteran of 92 NFL games, Howard wasn’t medically cleared until late July and has struggled in camp and during the preseason.

Warmack, too, looks like a candidate for release, as he hasn’t been included on numerous Eagles roster projections. Philadelphia extended Warmack last September, adding an extra year (2018) to his contract while guaranteeing $500K of his $1MM base salary. A trade would be especially beneficial to the Eagles, then, as an acquiring team would take on that base salary guarantee. Philadelphia could use the cap space, as it ranks a bottom-five team in financial reserves.

Both Grasu and Ware are also on the roster bubble with their respective teams. Neither offers much experience: Grasu, a third-round pick in 2015, has been beset by injuries and appeared in just 14 games, while Ware, a 2017 seventh-rounder, has just one contest under his belt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts To Sign OT Austin Howard

The Colts are signing free agent offensive tackle Austin Howard, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Indianapolis is in desperate need for protection up front and the hope is that Howard will help to secure the pocket for quarterback Andrew Luck

It’s a one-year deal with a base value of $3.75MM, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Howard can also earn another $500K via incentives, which isn’t a bad haul for a free agent signing in May.

Howard’s option for 2018 was surprisingly declined by the Ravens in March. After joining the Ravens on a three-year, $16.5MM free agent contract last year, Howard responded with a solid year and graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 36 offensive tackle. Overall, Baltimore’s offensive line was extremely effective, grading as top-five unit in Football Outsiders’ adjusted line yards, and adjusted sack rate, but they opted to go in a different direction at tackle and save $3MM in the process.

Howard, who has also spent time with the Eagles, Jets, and Raiders, will now suit up for his fifth NFL team. He’s the third offensive line newcomer of note in Indianpolis, joining first round left guard Quenton Nelson and second round right guard Braden Smith. All three seem likely to start as Howard projects to slot ahead of incumbent right tackle Denzelle Good.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Host Austin Howard On Visit

Austin Howard has been a starting right tackle for most of his NFL career, and he’s looking for a fourth employer. More interest is coming the free agent’s way.

The Colts visited with Howard, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter link). This marks Howard’s second visit since the Ravens declined his option last month. The Saints also met with the 31-year-old blocker, doing so last week.

While Anthony Castonzo has manned the left side for most of this decade, Indianapolis has not had much continuity at right tackle in recent years. The Colts re-signed Jack Mewhort to stay at one guard position and added Matt Slauson to likely start opposite him. However, the team still has uncertainty at right tackle.

Howard started at right tackle for the Raiders from 2015-16, doing so after a failed experiment at guard in 2014, and was the Ravens’ first-stringer there last season. Pro Football Focus graded Howard well, despite the veteran having been a Raiders cut because of injury concerns. Howard finished last season as PFF’s No. 36 tackle with a grade well north of anyone the Colts tried there.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Host OT Austin Howard On Visit

The Saints hosted right tackle Austin Howard for a free agent visit on Friday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Howard has been on the block ever since the Ravens elected not to pick up his option for 2018. 

Howard joined the Ravens on a three-year, $16.5MM free agent deal in March of 2017 after spending the previous three seasons with the Raiders. He’s not a superstar, but he did start in every game for the Ravens at right tackle in 2017. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 36 offensive tackle last season, which puts him squarely in the category of a starting caliber outside lineman.

At a time when most teams are scrambling for answers at tackle, the Saints are pretty well set on both sides with left tackle Terron Armstead and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk in the starting lineup. The Saints lost Zach Strief to retirement and saw Senio Kelemete sign with the Texans, but Jermon Bushrod was re-signed for depth. Despite his starting experience, Howard would serve as the top backup and Ramcyzk in New Orleans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens To Decline Austin Howard’s Option

The Ravens are not picking up the option for right tackle Austin Howard, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Howard is not a world-beater, but as Rapoport notes, he is entering a very thin right tackle market and he started all 16 game last year. 

Howard joined the Ravens on a three-year, $16.5MM free agent deal last year. Baltimore, who is right up against the salary cap, will now create $3MM in savings by parting ways with Howard. The club has opened up nearly $5MM by getting rid of Howard and running back Danny Woodhead today.

Howard, who has also spent time with the Eagles, Jets, and Raiders, graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 36 offensive tackle during his first season with the Ravens. Overall, Baltimore’s offensive line was extremely effective, grading as top-five unit in Football Outsiders’ adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate.

Because his option was declined (and he wasn’t actually released), Howard will still count towards the 2019 compensatory pick formula.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.