Indianapolis Colts Sign Free Agent Offensive Tackle Austin Howard
The Colts’ front office has been aggressive in addressing their offensive line issues this offseason, and that continued by signing Austin Howard.
The Colts re-signed Jack Mewhort and added Matt Slauson in free agency, which provided some solid veteran depth along the interior of the offensive line in Indianapolis.
Then general manager Chris Ballard doubled down on the offensive line in the NFL Draft by selecting guard Quenton Nelson with the sixth overall pick and drafting another guard in the second round by picking Braden Smith 37th overall.
While I believe Quenton Nelson should get a shot at playing tackle this offseason, the right tackle spot is still a major weakness on the offensive line.
By signing free agent Austin Howard, Chris Ballard has brought some veteran stability to that spot.
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Howard started all 16 games at right tackle for the Ravens last season. He’s been a solid player throughout his seven year career in which he’s made 88 starts, all at the right tackle position.
If the Colts were not going to move one of their interior offensive linemen to tackle, Joe Haeg, Denzelle Good, and Le’Raven Clark were expected to compete for the starting right tackle job before the Austin Howard signing.
Indianapolis couldn’t afford to go into the 2018 season with such a glaring weakness on their offensive line if they expect to keep Andrew Luck healthy after his recovery from shoulder surgery, so they picked up a reliable veteran to fill that spot.
Assuming Quenton Nelson is as good as advertised and Jack Mewhort is healthy, the offensive line in Indianapolis could be one of the league’s most improved units.
Next: Frank Reich and Chris Ballard Discuss Free Agent Additions
Adding Austin Howard is yet another shrewd move in free agency from Chris Ballard.