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Status of Jets 16 UFA's


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By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

The New York Jets have 16 players headed to unrestricted free agency on March 11. Ranking them in order of their importance:

 

1. Austin Howard, right tackle -- The Jets are trying to sign him to a long-term extension before March 11. He figures to land a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million to $6 million a year. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan tweeted that Howard could get $7 million per year if he hits the open market
 

2. Jeff Cumberland, tight end -- The Jets have expressed interest in re-signing Cumberland, but the financials could be tricky. Do they see him as a No. 1 tight end or a solid No. 2? Cumberland, who played in 652 offensive snaps last season, wants to be paid like a starter.

3. Calvin Pace, linebacker -- There's mutual interest, but they can't re-sign him until free agency starts unless he agrees to another minimum-salary deal, per CBA rules. The reason is because the Jets received a minimum-salary cap benefit last season with Pace. However, in theory, the two sides can have a more lucrative agreement in place that could be quickly signed March 11.

4. Nick Folk, kicker -- By rule, he falls into the same category as Pace. After four consecutive one-year contracts, Folk deserves a long-term deal after a career year. Talks are ongoing.

5. Leger Douzable, defensive end -- He was an important backup last season, contributing 228 defensive snaps. The Jets would like to have him back, but they probably won't go much higher than a minimum salary.

6. Ellis Lankster, special teams -- The Jets want him back because he's a core special-teamer. Lankster may look around to see if there's a team willing to give him a shot at cornerback.

7. Willie Colon, guard -- His surgically repaired biceps will be ready for training camp, but it may not be with the Jets, who will consider in-house options and explore the free-agent market. Colon looks like a fallback.

8. Josh Mauga, linebacker -- He missed most of the last two seasons with injuries, but he's only 26 and the Jets are thin at inside linebacker. There's a chance he could return on a one-year deal.

9. Aaron Berry, cornerback -- He's coming off ACL surgery, never a good thing for a corner, but he flashed some potential before getting hurt. He could be a post-draft option.

10. Vladimir Ducasse, guard -- The former second-round pick has some talent, but he wasn't able to put it all together under three different line coaches. He's unlikely to return.

11. Ed Reed, safety -- Rex Ryan would take him back, but it's a long shot. He's not an every-down player anymore. He could be an emergency pickup down the road.

12. Josh Cribbs, kick returner -- He provided a brief spark last season, but he's coming off surgery for a torn pectoral muscle, and he'll be 31.

13. David Garrard, quarterback -- He was a good mentor for Geno Smith, but he's 36 with a bad knee. The Jets will look for a younger, more viable backup.

14. Lex Hilliard, fullback -- He's coming off shoulder surgery, but there's a chance he could be back. Tommy Bohanon didn't light it up.

15. Darius Reynaud, running back -- He had a late-season cup of coffee with the Jets. He's unlikely to return.

16. Kellen Winslow, tight end -- He will hit the market -- that's free agent, not Boston

 

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Cumberland absolutely does not deserve to be paid like a starter, and no team will.  If that's what he's insisting on, you let him hit the market and then talk to him again when he's gotten a better idea of what the rest of the league values him at.

 

Howard at $7 million / year?  Wow, that's insane.  If that's real then I imagine there's a good chance he's gone.  Given that OTs are all lumped together, I'm guessing that means his franchise tag number would be ridiculously high, right?  Doubt they would use it unless the plan would be a tag and trade or if they thought they were close on a reasonable deal.

 

Pace, Douzable, and Lankster should all be brought back on the cheap.  Pace should not be counted on to start again though, even despite his career year as a rusher.

 

The rest likely can / should be upgraded.

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Cumberland absolutely does not deserve to be paid like a starter, and no team will.  If that's what he's insisting on, you let him hit the market and then talk to him again when he's gotten a better idea of what the rest of the league values him at.

 

Howard at $7 million / year?  Wow, that's insane.  If that's real then I imagine there's a good chance he's gone.  Given that OTs are all lumped together, I'm guessing that means his franchise tag number would be ridiculously high, right?  Doubt they would use it unless the plan would be a tag and trade or if they thought they were close on a reasonable deal.

 

Pace, Douzable, and Lankster should all be brought back on the cheap.  Pace should not be counted on to start again though, even despite his career year as a rusher.

 

The rest likely can / should be upgraded.

Wow, Talent starved group there.

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Cumberland absolutely does not deserve to be paid like a starter, and no team will.  If that's what he's insisting on, you let him hit the market and then talk to him again when he's gotten a better idea of what the rest of the league values him at.

 

Howard at $7 million / year?  Wow, that's insane.  If that's real then I imagine there's a good chance he's gone.  Given that OTs are all lumped together, I'm guessing that means his franchise tag number would be ridiculously high, right?  Doubt they would use it unless the plan would be a tag and trade or if they thought they were close on a reasonable deal.

 

Pace, Douzable, and Lankster should all be brought back on the cheap.  Pace should not be counted on to start again though, even despite his career year as a rusher.

 

The rest likely can / should be upgraded.

Yeah, that sounds high. Problem is I don't think we'll be able to keep a '15 pick for him (that level, my guess, puts him at a 4th rounder comp). Going to be too hard for Idzik to stay clear of every true UFA this offseason.

Still, it depends on the fine print. If it's $7M/year but only $10M is guaranteed, it could be ok since he's still getting better. If it's $7M with $20M guaranteed...well I can only see what we all see on the field. He's pretty good. $7M sounds like more than pretty good or solid type money. As a veteran in his prime, Brandon Moore got barely half that on the open market (and the cap hasn't moved THAT much since then).

Then again, I like having a solid OL. And I already opened my big yapper to say that $1M extra on a young OLman might be worth overpaying for the continuity. Maybe. I don't know.

But in 2015 and beyond there will be better offensive free agents than Eric Decker and Josh McNown to choose from, and I'd be pissed off if we didn't quite have the room for any/all of them in year 3 of a rebuild, when we should (ideally) be putting the finishing touches on our squad, because we gave a $5M right tackle a $7M/year deal and continued that trend with others.

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Then again, I like having a solid OL. And I already opened my big yapper to say that $1M extra on a young OLman might be worth overpaying for the continuity. Maybe. I don't know.

 

 

I sure hope they can come to terms with Howard - you can only go bare bones on the Oline for so long - and I'm still not sold on Winters.

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the RT market and the LT market aren't as different as they used to be. both the chiefs and eagles have no plans to move their first round picks to LT. Howard deserves that money. But Im not sure the Jets will give it to him. Not with Oday ABoushi waiting in the wings ;) 

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I sure hope they can come to terms with Howard - you can only go bare bones on the Oline for so long - and I'm still not sold on Winters.

No one wants to see that. This is of course aside from the fact that the Jets have 2 of the highest-paid offensive linemen in the league and have for years. So "bare bones" is not a description I would use. Particularly since this silly description seems to describe the Jets with Howard last year. So the Jets' OL with Howard on a 1 year RFA contract is bare bones. But if we pay him $7M/year on a long-term deal then that same personnel is no longer bare bones?

The question is whether he's worth $7M/year, and in particular how much of it is guaranteed. If he's going to get even better then he may be worth it. Before this article I thought he was worth similar to Brandon Moore (in terms of dollars) on his last deal, or in the $4M/year range. Even the $5M that the Jets allegedly value him at sounded a little high to me. $7M is pretty high. If we pay it I hope he's worth it.

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No one wants to see that. This is of course aside from the fact that the Jets have 2 of the highest-paid offensive linemen in the league and have for years. So "bare bones" is not a description I would use. Particularly since this silly description seems to describe the Jets with Howard last year. So the Jets' OL with Howard on a 1 year RFA contract is bare bones. But if we pay him $7M/year on a long-term deal then that same personnel is no longer bare bones?

The question is whether he's worth $7M/year, and in particular how much of it is guaranteed. If he's going to get even better then he may be worth it. Before this article I thought he was worth similar to Brandon Moore (in terms of dollars) on his last deal, or in the $4M/year range. Even the $5M that the Jets allegedly value him at sounded a little high to me. $7M is pretty high. If we pay it I hope he's worth it.

 

 

the 18 pick makes 4.5 mil. Imagine the Jets have to draft Zack Martin at 18 to replace Austin Howard, they save 3.5 mil per year. Which is significant. But they lose the opportunity cost of fixing the skill positions. What's that worth? 

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the 18 pick makes 4.5 mil. Imagine the Jets have to draft Zack Martin at 18 to replace Austin Howard, they save 3.5 mil per year. Which is significant. But they lose the opportunity cost of fixing the skill positions. What's that worth?

You're on crack. The #5 pick maybe makes that much. The #18 pick makes half that.

And the last time we were assessing re-signing our players long-term for big money, you were squawking about how "worth it" David Harris was to lock up at $9M per year. Excuse me if I think your judgment on free agents' value is worth less than nothing.

Oh no, wait. I'm forgetting about how it was smart for the Jets to extend Revis for the $16M you disbelieved he was truly after, for month after month.

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$7 million a year would make Howard the highest paid RT in the NFL. I cant imagine that the Jets would even consider doing that. Maybe someone told Caplan Howard would get $7 mil guaranteed (which is in line with guys like Vollmer and Loadholt) and he took it to mean $7 mil a year. If he gets $7 mil a year than team spending will be crazy this year. 

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You're on crack. The #5 pick maybe makes that much. The #18 pick makes half that.

And the last time we were assessing re-signing our players long-term for big money, you were squawking about how "worth it" David Harris was to lock up at $9M per year. Excuse me if I think your judgment on free agents' value is worth less than nothing.

Oh no, wait. I'm forgetting about how it was smart for the Jets to extend Revis for the $16M you disbelieved he was truly after, for month after month.

 

The 18 pick will make around $2.2 million a year.  

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$7 million a year would make Howard the highest paid RT in the NFL. I cant imagine that the Jets would even consider doing that. Maybe someone told Caplan Howard would get $7 mil guaranteed (which is in line with guys like Vollmer and Loadholt) and he took it to mean $7 mil a year. If he gets $7 mil a year than team spending will be crazy this year.

Wow, is that true?

I knew it sounded high but I didn't know that would make him #1. That's absurd. No wonder Bit is for it.

I was thinking about half that before this thread, maybe with some throw-in bonuses for reaching certain individual accolades.

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Tyson Clabo Dolphins $3,500,000    Breno Giacomini Seahawks $3,250,000    Zack Strief Saints $2,066,667    Austin Howard Jets $2,023,000    Eric Winston Cardinals $1,250,000
David Diehl Giants $1,000,000    Will Svitek Patriots $1,000,000    Khalif Barnes Raiders $915,000

These FA RT, & their salaries last year) show that Howard is not worth even $5 mil/yr


Offer him a 3 yr. $12 mil deal with $6 mil guaranteed.

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I hate overpaying.  But if I do overpay, I want it to be transformed into sacks or touchdowns.  I get neither from Howard.

 

Oh, I Know what you mean! It's like going to a girls house and Ordering a pizza, then she puts out befor the pizza gets delivered!

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Wow, is that true?

I knew it sounded high but I didn't know that would make him #1. That's absurd. No wonder Bit is for it.

I was thinking about half that before this thread, maybe with some throw-in bonuses for reaching certain individual accolades.

Spermy, do you know if we can sign Folk to a contract before Mondays Tag deadline, can we tag Howard with it?

 

I don't know why they'd Tag a kicker over a starting RT?

 

Only the Jets!

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Spermy, do you know if we can sign Folk to a contract before Mondays Tag deadline, can we tag Howard with it?

 

I don't know why they'd Tag a kicker over a starting RT?

 

Only the Jets!

Booze, Tagging a kicker is like carrying collision on a 72 pacer.

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Booze, Tagging a kicker is like carrying collision on a 72 pacer.

You got me LOL on that one.... I owned a Pacer coming out of college.... broke down on me in Mass. Took the plates off and walked away.... Hope the Jets take my lead, where Ducasse, Holmes and Sanchez are the Pacer.

Just walk away!

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You got me LOL on that one.... I owned a Pacer coming out of college.... broke down on me in Mass. Took the plates off and walked away.... Hope the Jets take my lead, where Ducasse, Holmes and Sanchez are the Pacer.

Just walk away!

Its probably still sitting there.

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Spermy, do you know if we can sign Folk to a contract before Mondays Tag deadline, can we tag Howard with it?

 

I don't know why they'd Tag a kicker over a starting RT?

 

Only the Jets!

There's a very good reason why they don't tag Austin: because it would be completely idiotic.

Only the Jets?

What on earth are you even talking about? Anyone who thinks the Jets should franchise tag Howard should be thankful the Jets have a smarter GM than that. Hell, even Tannenbaum on his most absent-minded day wouldn't make such a foolish move.

But carry on finding fault with the team for not making a totally retarded move and thinking such a comment is clever.

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There's a very good reason why they don't tag Austin: because it would be completely idiotic.

Only the Jets?

What on earth are you even talking about? Anyone who thinks the Jets should franchise tag Howard should be thankful the Jets have a smarter GM than that. Hell, even Tannenbaum on his most absent-minded day wouldn't make such a foolish move.

But carry on finding fault with the team for not making a totally retarded move and thinking such a comment is clever.

By the attitude presented in your post, I assume you'll be OK with Howard walking away. They've been in contract talks for 2 weeks and still no deal.

 

That being said, you still need a replacement. Who's it going to be?

 

I went to Pro Football Focus to get an idea of the OL available to replace Howard.

I look forward to your insight.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/02/20/ranking-the-2014-free-agents-offensive-tackles/

Ranking the 2014 Free Agents: Offensive Tackles

Jake Liscow | February 20, 2014

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2014-TOP-FAs-OT

You’ve been reading along with our Projected Lineups series on a daily basis and have checked the PFF Free Agent Tracker more times than you can count, so you’ll be happy to see that we’re now ranking the top free agents available — the potential answers to the holes apparent on those team-by-team charts. We’ll be taking on a couple positions a day this week and discussing our Top 10 at each.

It’s more than just looking at our grades, but factoring in longevity, age, injuries and so much more in order to tell you who we think are the best gets out there.

We’re halfway through our Ranking the 2014 Free Agents series (having been through the QBs, RBs, WRs as well as the LBs, edge rushers and interior D-linemen) and we’ve made it to the priciest piece of the offensive line. Offensive tackles earn some of the biggest paydays in free agency, with last year’s second-ranked free agent tackle, Jake Long, taking home a 4-year contract averaging $9m per year. That doesn’t mean that teams can’t find good value, on display in Sebastian Vollmer’s (4 years, $16.7m), King Dunlap’s (2 years, $3.9m) contracts.

Here are the Top 10 free agent tackles to watch this time around.

1. Eugene Monroe

2013 Grade: +20.4

2013 Snaps: 1,069

A combination of youth, consistency, balance, and upside lands Eugene Monroe in the top spot in the 2014 market. With other left tackles on the market featuring one flaw or another, be it age, injury, or an off season, Monroe stands out. After taking over Baltimore’s left tackle position in Week 6, he posted 11 straight positively-graded games. In that stretch, he had a red grade for run or pass blocking just twice, a -1.9 in run blocking against one of the better run defenders in Cincinnati’s Michael Johnson, and a -1.7 in pass blocking against Julius Peppers’ ferocious pass rush. Outside of those blips, Monroe was a model of consistency in 2013.

That consistency is nothing new for 2009’s eighth overall selection, who really came into his own in 2011. In his last three seasons, he’s graded positively for both run blocking and pass blocking, and his overall grade hasn’t dropped below +20.0. While the early-season move to Baltimore landed Monroe on a better team than he came from, he wasn’t necessarily in a better offensive line, often next to the struggling A.Q. Shipley. His positive performance at left tackle includes solid play on an island, and his performances are trending in the right direction. This 26-year-old has a lot to offer a blindside-needy team in 2014.

2. Branden Albert

2013 Grade: +11.5

2013 Snaps: 883

Albert finds himself in a similar bucket with Monroe. Both are known quantities at left tackle with strong track records, though Albert’s best seasons don’t quite measure up to Monroe’s last three. He’s also a year and a half older, missed time with a knee injury late last season, and had issues with a back injury the year prior. Still, he was a hot commodity last April before the Chiefs franchised him and Albert will return to the free agent market where he last year reportedly sought a $9 million-per-year deal. That was the biggest free agent acquisition last year at tackle.

If front offices evaluated Albert’s performance the same way we did, he might have a tough time quite reaching that dollar figure. He graded negatively in run blocking in 2013, just as he did in 2012, and it’s an area of his game that has never been dominant, though it hasn’t been terrible either. Mostly solid in pass protection, Albert only gave up four sacks in 555 pass blocking snaps in the quick-attack Andy Reid offense, but pass blocking is clearly his forte. With nine regular season penalties, Albert had the second-worst penalty grade for tackles in 2013, a consistent mark against him that potential suitors should note in this free agency period.

3. Jared Veldheer

2013 Grade: -5.5

2013 Snaps: 335

Limited by a triceps tear and trip to the injured reserve in 2013, Veldheer clearly wasn’t at his best in four late games. Prior 2013, though, he missed just one snap in the 2011 and 2012 seasons combined and his track record doesn’t suggest that he’ll be a major injury risk going forward. Veldheer turns 27 in October and is actually a few months younger than Monroe, but continues the trend of youth at the top of this list. Like Albert and Monroe, Veldheer is something of a known quantity, but didn’t show that he was in good form late in the season.

In a recent radio interview, he talked about a preference for a long-term deal, and hopes to avoid the franchise tag. Oakland has that option, of course, but if they choose to let him walk, the third-round pick should have plenty of options on the open market. In 2012, Veldheer’s 96.1 Pass Blocking Efficiency ranked 12th among tackles, and while pass blocking was his strongest suit last year, he had the third-best run blocking grade among left tackles in 2011. He reined in the penalties in 2012, but had six in just 335 snaps in 2013. Like Albert, that’s an area to watch for prospective teams.

4. Jordan Gross

2013 Grade: +33.3

2013 Snaps: 1,071

Jordan Gross is the first player on this list with more than one long-term deal in his history. The veteran left tackle is the highest-graded on the list, but he’s also the oldest and there’s got to be some concern that he’s running out of plateau before a steep cliff. Prior to the 2013 season, Gross had five straight positively-graded seasons for Carolina, including two better than +20.0. He’s ranked in the top 12 for tackles in three of the last four seasons, and was 20th in the other.

All of that built up to an excellent 2013 campaign, which saw him finish third on the offensive tackle leaderboard. Gross’s previously balanced blocking profile favored pass blocking in 2013, as his 95.8 Pass Blocking Efficiency was good for 10th in the league. He still finished as a positive run blocker, though that was to a slightly lesser extent than years prior, and his single penalty on the season led to the second best penalty grade among tackles. The big question with Gross comes down to age. He has consistently performed well and is coming off a career year, but no one knows when that cliff is coming.

5. Anthony Collins

2013 Grade: +16.3

2013 Snaps: 673

Replacing one of the best pass blockers in the NFL at left tackle for the Bengals this year, when injuries forced an offensive line shuffle, Anthony Collins more than held his own in 673 snaps. Collins signed a two-year extension with the Bengals in 2011 after a very good 262 snap campaign didn’t generate a ton of interest league-wide. He hardly saw the field in 2012, stuck behind Andre Smith and Whitworth on the depth chart, but has consistently been a good-to-great pass blocker when he’s seen the field.

In 2013, Collins didn’t give up a sack and allowed a total of 14 pressures on 389 pass blocking snaps. He doesn’t qualify for the regular season Pass Blocking Efficiency leaderboard, but when you lower the snap threshold to 25% of the top tackle’s snap count, Collins is atop the list with a 97.2 score, besting Denver’s Orlando Franklin. The question mark is run blocking and endurance. He’s never shown much punch as a run blocker, and 673 is the most snaps he’s ever played in a season as a career backup. Still, the pass blocking display in 2013 is bound to be attractive for a team that needs a starting left tackle with the versatility and experience to play on the right side as well.

6. Rodger Saffold

2013 Grade: +6.7

2013 Snaps: 557

The youngest player on this list, Rodger Saffold has been in and out of the St. Louis starting lineup since taking 1,068 snaps, the most he’s played in a season, in his rookie year. Since then, it has been a rollercoaster ride for Saffold who has posted streaks of dominant run blocking and pass blocking at different points in his career. In 557 2013 snaps, Saffold strung together a five game stretch with four green run blocking grades and didn’t give up a sack all season, though he did allow 14 pressures in 369 pass blocking snaps. Looking back to 2012, he posted a mostly great season in pass protection, though he missed time due to injury.

Despite tantalizing potential mixed with spells of brilliance in all facets of offensive tackle play, Saffold comes with an injury history that led the Rams to sign Jake Long last winter. He also has a record of inconsistent play and, while he’s shown clear production, needs to put it altogether at the same time to be a franchise left tackle. At 25, he’ll certainly draw interest from an offensive line coach eager to put all the pieces together.

7. Zach Strief

2013 Grade: +28.9

2013 Snaps: 1,213

Zach Strief could resemble Anthony Collins’ best-case future (if Collins was a right tackle). After playing in a backup role for the Saints for five seasons, Strief burst onto the scene in 2011 after missing five games with an injury. In the last 10 games he played (including the playoffs) in 2011, Strief posted a +14.1 pass blocking grade to go with a solid run blocking performance and generally penalty-free play. 2012 was a rough year for Strief and the Saints in general, but like the rest of the team he returned to form in 2013 and finished the year as our top right tackle.

With a similar set of strengths to Collins, Strief finished the year with our third highest pass blocking score for any tackle, but he was right in the middle of the pack when it came to run blocking. He played the most snaps of his career in 2013, but has had his share of injury issues and isn’t exactly a spring chicken, turning 31 in September. The seventh round Northwestern product will surely attract teams looking for stability at right tackle given his solid pass protection for one of the most prolific passing offenses in the NFL in recent years.

8. Austin Howard

2013 Grade: -1.0

2013 Snaps: 1,071

The Jets have reportedly initiated contract talks with Austin Howard with the goal of re-signing him before free agency opens up. If he makes it to the market, Howard will be an interesting player for teams to consider. He’s relatively young and doesn’t have much wear on the tires as an undrafted free agent from Northern Iowa. He joined the Jets in 2012, acquired via the Ravens’ practice squad, and has hardly missed a snap in two years starting at right tackle in New York.

Terribly inconsistent in 2013, Howard’s Jets debut in 2012 featured a lot of very good run blocking (+9.6) mixed in with below average pass blocking (-5.1). He gave up 10 sacks and 41 more pressures in his first season as a full-time starter. In 2013, he improved his pass blocking and only gave up two sacks to go with 36 pressures, finishing with a +1.9 pass blocking grade, but his run blocking made it into the green just three times, against six in the red. He has been fairly strong in the penalty category, and may have some upside left with only two seasons of starting under his belt, but his performance isn’t up to snuff with those ahead of him on this list.

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The thing about OL is that it takes time to really get good at the position. Some say that the offensive linemen are the smartest guys on the field for everything that they have to know. I don't by any stretch recommend paying Howard as a number 1 tackle, but I'm not going to sit here either and say that he's a swinging gate that can't be fixed. His sheer size and age should give him the benefit of the doubt, imo

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