September 27, 2023

Bucs Life

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O.J. Howard fizzles out in Vegas as Raiders the latest team to show him the door

3 min read

O.J. Howard courtesy of

This very well could be it

Just five months after signing with the Las Vegas Raiders, and before the first preseason game had even been played, Head Coach Josh McDaniels had seen enough, sending the ex-Buccaneer packing. After being let go by the Bucs, Howard caught on with the Houston Texans, then he signed a one-year deal with the Bills but was cut before the season started. Now, again, he was signed to a one-year deal by the Raiders, guaranteeing him $365,000. Howard had just done an interview about him going to the Raiders this past weekend, where he had this to say about coming to the Silver and Black.

“I knew the culture of Coach McDaniels, his history,” Howard said. “Through the draft process, being a part of getting to meet him, but I didn’t get a chance to go play for him.

“Sometimes, those relationships build over the year, and you kind of just remember guys, and you remember offenses, and you’re like, ‘That’s something that could really fit me.’ So when the [opportunity] came seven years later, I got the call, had a chance to talk to him, and was like, ‘For sure, this is a good fit for me.’”

Ouch! I hate that for him. It had to come as a surprise after doing that interview, I would imagine. Although, should it be much of a surprise to him, really? If it was a surprise, then that is a pretty good sign that Howard doesn’t know what it takes to cement a roster spot. If he hadn’t been a first-round pick in Tampa, he probably would have been gone much sooner. Knowing that four teams have sent him on his way in just the last 2-3 seasons will probably deter Howard from getting another contract offer. A team would have to be pretty hard up to bring him in at this stage.

From early promise to useless in just a few seasons in Tampa

Howard, for whatever reason, just never has been able to translate his play at Alabama to the NFL. Something just gets lost in translation. Early on with the Bucs, it seemed injury was all that was holding him back. It soon became clear that Howard just wasn’t a very good NFL Tight End. Jason Licht has had some great picks over his time here, but Howard was, without a doubt, a miss in the first round. You can easily see what Licht was trying to do in selecting him. A tall, athletic tight end who is closer to a wide receiver than he is a tight end. This would have created many a miss-match with the defense had Howard been able to pull it off. It just wasn’t meant to be, though, for Howard. It’s hard to say why such a promising young player couldn’t find success. I’m thinking just three words, lack of separation! Ironically, teams haven’t been having that same problem with him. Go Bucs!!