Days after his unexpected departure from Oakland, free agent offensive tackle Austin Howard is visiting with the Houston Texans on Thursday, per numerous reports including Sirius XM NFL Radio.
Howard started 39 games over three seasons with the Raiders, primarily as a right tackle. Prior to that, he was a starter with the New York Jets, where ironically he was replaced by recent Texans signee Breno Giacomini.
Houston is looking for help at the offensive tackle spots. With last year’s starters both gone, it’s a very needy area. Left tackle Duane Brown is holding out and right tackle Derek Newton is lost for the year with his knee injury. Giacomini was signed in the spring, and rookie Julie’n Davenport offers some promise, but there is a need for depth and insurance at either spot.
Howard played reasonably well in Oakland, though it’s important to note he was an injury replacement for Menelik Watson each of the last two seasons. Now recovering from shoulder surgery of his own, the 30-year-old Northern Iowa product is hoping to find a new home in 2017.