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Austin Howard, unable to get a deal done with the Jets before free agency, will visit the Oakland Raiders (Costello, March 11).

Update - 12:26 a.m.: Howard will sign with the Raiders for five years and $30 million ($15 million guaranteed) (Schefter, March 12).

If Howard does leave, the Jets have already inquired on Zach Streif, formerly of the Saints (Cimini, March 11). The 30-year-old Stief is unlikely to stay in New Orleans (Hartstein, Feb. 2).

Strief, listed at 6'7" and 320 pounds has started 45 games in his NFL career including 38 over the past three seasons and was rated as the top right tackle in the NFL by PFF in 2013. However, that should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt to some extent because Strief had an elite right guard (Jahri Evans) on his left shoulder and also benefited from the fact that Drew Brees is so adept at moving around in the pocket. With the uncertainty over who will start at right guard for the Jets, coupled with Geno Smith's comparative lack of pocket presence (assuming he starts), Strief could find his assignments have an added degree of difficulty if he becomes the Jets' starter at right tackle.

Some of the contracts being paid out to offensive tackles so far during this free agent signing period have been much higher than expected, so Howard looks set to get an offer far in excess of what his perceived value was entering this process. With Strief being into his thirties, the Jets might be able to get him to agree to a shorter deal with less guaranteed money than what they would have had to pay Howard to retain him as he enters his prime.

Of course, Howard signing with Oakland is not yet a certainty, so it remains to be seen whether the Jets will make an offer to Strief (or someone similar) or keep lines of communication open with Howard.

Tags: NYJets , Andrew Vazzano
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