In one day, the Oakland Raiders threw more money at their offensive line than at any other time in franchise history. The success of the moves will be determined over time, but it's quite clear that general manager Reggie McKenzie has a type of player in mind, and he's not shy about paying those who fit the prototype.
Hours after the Raiders shocked the NFL world by giving tackle Rodger Saffold a five-year, $42.5 million deal with $21 million guaranteed, McKenzie doubled down and gave former New York Jets right tackle Austin Howard a five-year, $30 million deal with $15 million guaranteed.
An undrafted free agent out of Northern Iowa, Howard joined the Jets in 2010 and started all 16 games at right tackle in each of the team's last two seasons. In 2012, he allowed 10 sacks, 10 quarterback hits and 31 quarterback hurries, per Pro Football Focus, but improved in 2013. Last season, Howard allowed two sacks (tied for the league lead among qualifying right tackles), 15 hits, and 21 hurries in 1,071 total snaps. He missed only two snaps all season.
In 2013, Tony Pashos
was Oakland's primary right tackle, playing 735 snaps at the position and allowing six sacks, one hit, and 19 hurries.