The Baltimore Ravens have been snake-bitten for the past two months and the teams offensive line took a massive hit with the season-ending injury to rookie Nico Siragusa. They also lost depth with the retirement of John Urschel.
Today, the Ravens added to their offensive line, specifically, the right tackle position, by signing Austin Howard, via ESPN's Adam Schefter
Ravens officially sign Austin Howard to bolster offensive line, according to @AdamSchefter https://t.co/DwiwyOOPHp— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) August 4, 2017
Howard's visit was first reported by The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec last Thursday night, and the team was already in the process of finalizing the deal. Howard is very familiar with the Ravens after spending some time in 2011 on the teams practice squad and was a starter for two years with the New York Jets from 2012-2013, with 2013 being under offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
Baltimore has been in desperate need of a right tackle ever since they lost Rick Wagner in free agency. Up until now, they haven't addressed the position in the offseason, only drafting Siragusa, and Jermaine Eluemunor. While Eluemenor is capable of playing tackle, he’s more of a project at the moment.
Howard is a steady and serviceable right tackle, and will come in and compete with James Hurst for the spot. Howard has been hit with injuries of his own over the last two years, coming off surgery for a torn labrum/rotator cuff back in January. If healthy, expect Howard to win the job and help provide stability to the Ravens offensive line. This was a move general manager Ozzie Newsome had to make.
Update (8/4/2017 2:14 p.m.): Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Howard's deal will last three years:
FA OT Austin Howard is signing a 3-year deal with the #Ravens, source said. Just chose them over the #Texans, who he visited.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 4, 2017