The Las Vegas Raiders made news Monday as the team signed a former first-rounder.
According to multiple reports, Las Vegas signed free agent tight end O.J. Howard, who was at the team facility for a visit Monday.
Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was the first to report the news that the Raiders were finalizing a deal with Howard.
The @Raiders are finalizing a deal with tight end O.J. Howard.
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) March 20, 2023
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Howard with the 17th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Howard had starred with the Alabama Crimson Tide prior to entering the league. While he won Super Bowl LV with the Buccaneers, he was never able to recapture the success he had at the collegiate level, where he was named the College Football Playoff National Championship Offensive MVP in 2015.
While Tampa Bay exercised his fifth-year option in 2020, he did not return to the team in free agency. Howard signed a free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills last offseason before they cut him during final roster cuts. Howard caught on with the Houston Texans last season, playing in 10 games, while hauling in 10 receptions for 145 yards with two touchdowns.
During Howard’s six-year playing career, he amassed 129 receptions for 1,882 yards with 17 touchdowns. The 28-year-old Howard figures to replace Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller, who the Raiders recently traded to the New York Giants in exchange for draft compensation.