It’s done. What has seemed like it was inevitable for months. The Raiders have released Austin Howard. The team had signed free agent Marshall Newhouse this offseason to be the team’s starting right tackle and with Howard due $6.8 million, his release was expected.
“Unfortunately my time with the #Raiders has come to an end,” Howard said in a post on Instagram Friday morning.
Howard spent the past three seasons in Oakland. His first season he played at right guard. When Jack Del Rio’s staff came onboard in 2015, he moved back to right tackle. Menelik Watson won the job in training camp but both seasons went down with injury, leading to Howard making the bulk of the starts.
This is the first time since Howard signed with the team that his release saved more money than dead money left behind. He had shoulder surgery this offseason which made it prohibitive to release him sooner. Hence the release today, the day his Raiders teammates report to camp.
“To my OL dawgs, love y'all boys,” Howard continued. “#RaiderNation appreciate all your support, you guys are like none other. I came to Oakland my first year with a start of 0-10... through hard work and dedication we built a team that had more success it had in years, and thus we turned this group of players into a play-off bound and elite team. Starting on this Offensive line for the majority of that time is something that I'll never forget. One thing I can say is that no matter the situation, no matter if it was battling through injury, or political scrutiny that this business demands, I left it all out the for my teammates and always had and will always have their back. I will always be proud of that. Thank you to Mr. Davis and the Raiders organization/coaches that allowed me this opportunity. Thank you to my family, especially my parents, siblings, my friends, my agent Kevin Robinson, and last but DEFINITELY not least my beautiful wife Larissa who has been with me since the beginning, and through the thick and thin and has SELFLESSLY been the REAL reason that I've been able to do my job on the field for the passed seven seasons, for all your love, support, encouragement and prayers! To my baby girl, Daddy loves you and couldn't imagine this life without you! Having an opportunity and blessing to share all of this with you has been the biggest gift of all...As upsetting as it is, that "business" gets in the way of a good thing, I know that this is not the end of my NFL journey. Looking forward to what God has planned for me next...”