Buzz: Austin Howard’s return hangs in the balance

According to Manish Mehta this morning, Austin Howard and the Jets are still trying to hammer out a deal.  But with negotiations open with other teams, there are foxes in the proverbial henhouse.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

It must be coming down to money and/or guarantees.  We do know that the Jets got a pretty good set of bargains in their retaining Jeff Cumberland along with Lankster and Walls.  So are the Jets similarly low-balling Howard?  Howard is reported to be looking for a deal similar to Phil Loadholt, which was deemed lucrative last year, but which seems reasonable given Howard’s play and his position.

That said, there was a tail-off in the play at the end of the season from Howard, so are the Jets balking at a deal too big or too long?  The Jets might wind up signing Howard all the same in the name of continuity, but what seemed like a very likely return for Howard is now starting to take on more uncertainty… 




25 comments
green24
green24

Unless we convert a FA LT over to RT, I don't see anyone available in free agency that would be an upgrade over Howard. Even if Zach Strief is better right now, he is 30 and turns 31 in September.

dabronx
dabronx

If the reports are true regarding Howard asking for 7M+, then I'd let him go. There are plenty of better OT free agents out there who would cost just as much or a smidgen more. - Eugene Monroe, Veldheer, Collins, Saffold, Albert.  Howard was rated #47 by PFF offensive tackle rankings. He is a very good pass blocker and decent rushing blocker. He is not elite and is not worth #1 RT money.

joemustgo
joemustgo

I'm OK with Howard testing his value but I'd also like Idzik to play a little hardball. If there are viable options at RT, Idzik should put a contract on the table and tell Howard that the offer expires at 3:59 tomorrow.

jdawggg
jdawggg

There's a fairly deep FA class at OT.  I'd be happy to keep Howard but if his asking price is too high there are other options, some of which are better.

Joan Israel
Joan Israel

I have a bad feeling about this: Howard's going to sign elsewhere. John Idzik doesn't seem the type to get into bidding wars, and pay inflated salaries. Idzik probably has a $ number in mind, and won't exceed it. I commend him for that stance, but it may mean Howard's gone.


Jim Israel

McGeorge
McGeorge

The Jets do have a big cap surplus.   You can't have a weak OLine and do well, so I hope the Jets are able to come to an agreement.  I'm ok with slightly over paying Howard, because Geno needs to develop.


SackDance99
SackDance99

This is a hugely important contract for Howard.  He's mostly earned minimum (or near minimum) money as a pro and this is his first chance to cash in and, given the vagaries of the NFL, could be his last.  So, I can't blame him or his agent for seeking the most money possible.  That being said, it's just smart economics for Idzik to let the market set Howard's price rather than buy into the puffery of his agent.  I still think this deal gets done.  We just have to be patient and let the process work out.

Bent
Bent moderator

Sounds like an educated guess and nothing more.

Wilkershakes
Wilkershakes

Losing Howard to another team in FA does not destroy the Jets line next year.  However, it would be important to the keep continuity of the team.  The team has invested a lot of time and opportunity with him (hopefully, that is at least a small factor at minimum for him) and he still has the ability to improve.  I'd like to get good news today, but my jets world won't be shattered by it. 

Joe/Orlando
Joe/Orlando

Funny how just a few weeks ago people were being chastised in the comments section here for even discussing the possibility that Howard might not be back.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Joan Israel  Joan, if you looked at how he ranks at his position it's really no big loss if he walks away.He was rated a lot closer to the bottom than the top of RT's and as has been pointed out there are better alternatives out there.Re-signing guys for the sake of continuity is all well and good but at the end of the day this team needs to improve and I don't know how you do that by retaining mediocre players.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@McGeorge  If you don't want a weak O-line you don't resign mediocre players like Howard!

Brendan
Brendan

@Joe/Orlando  To be fair, I think most of those people didn't expect Howard to be demanding "best RT in football" money. 

Joe/Orlando
Joe/Orlando

@Brendan @Joe/Orlando   Well, that was always a possibility, so perhaps people shouldn't have been calling the discussion that he might not be back "absurd", along with various other expressions of disbelief that anyone would consider the possibility that he wouldn't be back.

There's still a good chance Howard will be back so I'm not looking to get into a big thing. Just that the way this situation has unfolded may be a reminder to some of us here that they might want to think twice before believing they have everything figured out and declaring what is reasonable to be discussed on this blog.



bklyndude
bklyndude

@Brendan @Joe/Orlando   I would think his agent isn't demanding anything,  but just picking up the phone and listening to any offers that might be better than the one the Jets made.  If he doesn't get any,  he might be signed before Tuesday.

Brendan
Brendan

@Joe/Orlando  Yeah, I'm not really arguing with your initial point, more lamenting the fact that Howard isn't taking Idzik's offer. 

Brendan
Brendan

@bklyndude Oh, I didn't mean for it to seem like I was upset Howard is listening to offers. I defended his right to do that in the Daily Links thread. I'm just saying that he still should feel obligated to go back to the team and say "here's what I'm hearing from other teams, can you change your offer" or whatever. 

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Brendan @bklyndude    I don't have a problem with players listening to offers from other teams.  I would be upset if he leaves for only a slightly better deal. 

But if somebody blows him out of the water with an offer,  that's life and exactly how free agency works.

Brendan
Brendan

@bklyndude  It's so players can gauge value around the league and teams can lock up their FA's before other teams can start throwing deals in their face. So, Howard is satisfying the former well enough. I just hope he's making good on trying to do the latter, also. 

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Brendan @bklyndude

Isn't that what the window is for ? 

To find out what your value is. If it's what everybody thinks,  hopefully he signs the Jets deal.  If you were his agent,  why wouldn't you listen to other teams first.

Brendan
Brendan

@bklyndude I would hope he countered. Taking an offer and sitting on it for days is kinda crappy when you have a limited window to work with. 

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Brendan @bklyndude    I doubt Howard countered with anything.  He probably knew he would receive interest from other teams and just told the Jets he would let them know as soon as he has listened to other teams.  If he receives a better offer,  hopefully he will notify the Jets and give them a chance to either match or say adios.

Brendan
Brendan

@bklyndude I think the team gave their offer, Team Howard gave their counter, and then Team Howard went to gauge interest around the league. Those three things definitely happened at some point in the past 2+ days. The question is where they are on returning to the table and discussing the initial offer/request.