With Darren Waller no longer part of the Las Vegas Raiders roster, the team is pressed to find a replacement to at least help cover the void left by the star tight end. Well, interest in free agent tight end OJ Howard has turned into action, as the Raiders are finalizing a contract agreement with Howard, sources told Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Raiders had hosted Howard, a former first round pick, on a visit. Exact contract terms for Howard are not known at this time.
OJ Howard has the talent to excel and become a star in the NFL, but years since he was selected in the first round (19th overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2017 NFL Draft, he's yet to become someone generally considered as top-tier asset even at his position.
Nevertheless, Howard projects to be an intriguing reclamation project for any team who would sign him. The Raiders only have two tight ends under contract at the moment in Jesper Horsted and Cole Fotheringham, with Foster Moreau unlikely to make a return.
Howard last suited up for the Houston Texans in 2022, during which he produced just 145 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 10 receptions and 23 targets across 13 games (10 starts). He scored both those touchdowns (on two targets) right in the very first week of the season against the Indianapolis Colts before retreating to near-absolute irrelevancy the rest of the way.
So far in his NFL career, Howard has 17 touchdowns and 1,882 receiving yards on 129 receptions.