Baltimore Ravens sign Austin Howard to three-year deal

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 13: Outside linebacker Von Miller
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 13: Outside linebacker Von Miller /

The Baltimore Ravens are getting help on the offensive line. They’ve signed free agent lineman Austin Howard to a three-year deal.

After a rugged start to training camp that had involved a lot of injuries, the Baltimore Ravens have gotten some good news today.  It was reported last night that free agent offensive tackle Austin Howard was visiting the Ravens.

Now, he is officially part of the team.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Ravens are signing Howard to a three-year worth $16 million. He will earn $5.5 million in his first year.

Howard chose to sign with the Ravens over the Houston Texans, who he visited just one day ago. There’s no information if money was a factor, but you have to figure that it was.

Howard spent the last three seasons with the Oakland Raiders where he was an integral part of their offensive line. But after injuries the past two seasons, he was released. Before Oakland, Howard played two seasons with the New York Jets and also spent time on the Ravens’ practice squad in 2011. Now he will get his chance to take finally take the field in Baltimore.

The Ravens struggled with offensive line depth last season and have already lost John Urschel and Nico Siragusa this offseason. This was by far the major need for the team going into week . Keeping Joe Flacco healthy and upright is the number one priority for the offense.

Howard not only provides depth on the offensive line, but also versatility. He has experience playing both guard and tackle. With how the offensive line is shaped right now, he will likely battle it out with fellow undrafted teammate James Hurst for the right tackle spot. Howard is now recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, but should be good to go for the start of the season.

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Say what you want, but the Ravens have quietly put together some fantastic free agent signings this offseason. Let’s hope this proves to be another one.