Less than 24 hours into free agency, the Oakland Raiders might have already found their two starting offensive tackles for 2014. The Raiders agreed to terms with former Jets lineman Austin Howard on Tuesday.
Howard's deal is worth $30 million over five years and includes $15 million in guaranteed money, according to ESPN.com. That makes $36 million in guaranteed money the Raiders handed over to offensive lineman in the first nine hours of free agency.
Earlier on Tuesday, Oakland agreed to terms with former St. Louis Rams lineman Rodger Saffold on a five-year, $42.5 million deal that included $21 million in guarantees. According to CSNCalifornia.com, the Raiders' plan is to play Saffold at left tackle.
As for Howard, he'll play right tackle, a position that he's started at in every Jets regular season game since the beginning of the 2012 season.
Before making his way into the starting lineup with the Jets, Howard only played in a total of four games over his first two seasons. The undrafted free agent out of Northern Iowa made one start and played in four games during his rookie year in Philadelphia. Howard also spent a brief time on the Ravens practice squad in 2011 before being picked up by the Jets in that same year.
Although the Raiders found two tackles, free agency hasn't been kind to Oakland so far. The team arguably overpaid for the two offensive lineman, not to mention, the Raiders also lost Jared Veldheer, Lamarr Houston and Rashad Jennings to free agent deals. It might sting even more knowing that Veldheer (Arizona) and Houston (Chicago) signed for less combined guaranteed money than Saffold and Howard signed for.