What will the Jets do with Austin Howard’s contract? Since he’s a restricted free agent, the Jets are going to have to make him an offer that will keep other teams away, but also help save as much cap space as possible. Rich Cimini writes about the matter on ESPN NY.
The Jets are trying to decide whether to give RT Austin Howard the first-round tender ($2.86 million) or second-round tender ($2.02 million) as a restricted free agent. Something they should consider: The Ravens, Howard’s first team, own the last pick in the second round and could be looking for a left tackle to replace free-agent LT Bryant McKinnie. Howard, almost 26, would be better than any draft pick at that spot, so it wouldn’t be a shock if the Ravens explore an offer sheet.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Howard also had a stop in Philadelphia, which probably explains the Jets rapt attention of him. Scott Cohen’s close ties to the Eagles probably has his radar up to Howard’s availability. Howard as you will recall was cut loose after a promising camp in Philly working in Howard Mudd’s system and shedding pounds between his time with the Eagles and then the Jets. The Ravens had him on their practice squad and the Jets signed Howard off it near the end of the 2011 season. Even so, the Ravens potential interest makes total sense as he spent time there on their team and squad. Howard might be able to play Left Tackle, but I think he’s best suited as a RT, and with Michael Oher on the team, the Ravens might consider bumping him over and keeping Howard on the right side in that scenario. I like Oday Aboushi and think he could play a tackle spot, and he might be available at the end of the second round … so the Ravens would have to weigh that out.
Given the choice of what to do with Howard, I think that since it’s a pretty good draft class at the OL spot, the Jets could get away with putting a second round tender on Howard and calling it a day.