NFL rumors: Raiders have a Darren Waller replacement in mind

Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders runs during an NFL football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the New England Patriots at Allegiant Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

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Less than a week after losing Darren Waller, the Raiders are looking at a former first-rounder to fill Waller’s shoes.

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels heartlessly shipped Darren Waller off to the New York Giants earlier this month, and he already has his sights on another tight end.

Waller was traded to the Giants for just a single third-round pick, and it would seem Las Vegas was very keen on dumping Waller’s hefty salary and moving on in 2023.

Raiders tight end Foster Moreau is currently testing his options in free agency and recently visited the New Orleans Saints to meet up with an old friend in Derek Carr.

On the precipice of losing their top two tight ends, Las Vegas has turned to a forgotten name in the NFL to potentially boost their pass-catching corps: O.J. Howard.

A possible Darren Waller replacement? Sources say the #Raiders are hosting former first-round TE OJ Howard, a pass-catcher who can help stretch the defense. The former #Bucs pick had 10 starts for the #Texans last year.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2023

Howard was picked 19th overall in the 2017 draft and failed to live up to his potential for the last six years. Is he really going to be the Raiders’ solution at tight end after the Waller trade?

Raiders have their eyes on former first-rounder O.J. Howard after trading Darren Waller

Howard spent the first five years of his career on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he put together three average seasons before suffering an Achilles injury in 2020.

That happened to be the year Tom Brady and the Bucs won a Super Bowl, so technically Howard has a ring to his name. Where his production is concerned, though, Howard turned into a mega-draft bust for Tampa Bay and played every game of a season just once during his tenure.

He joined the Houston Texans in 2022, recording an unremarkable stat line of 145 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 13 games.

Now entering his seventh year in the league and nearing 30, Howard may get one more shot to save his career on the Raiders.

His resume is no doubt lacking, yet he’ll come at a cheaper price than Waller and could fit in well amid the offensive makeover going on in Vegas.

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