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Ravens’ signing of free agent right tackle preempts Kap speculation

If Joe Flacco’s back injury from lifting weights is not serious, and if it does not require surgery, then there is really no reason to go out and sign Colin Kaepernick. That’s just my practical opinion.

Then the Ravens just signed veteran Austin Howard to start at right tackle. That costs them $5.5 million this year on the first round of a potential 3-year deal. That pretty much uses up all the available salary cap space at the moment, and there would be not enough money available to sign Kaepernick anyway.

Getting a solid starter with veteran presence at right tackle is probably a smarter investment by the Ravens than chasing after Kaepernick.

The signing of veteran offensive right tackle Austin Howard  is a three-year deal reportedly worth $16 million, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. There are reportedly team options after each year.

I remember Austin Howard as an undrafted rookie, 6-foot-7, 330-pounds out of Northern Iowa, back in 2010 when Andy Reid signed him as a camp project for the Philadelphia Eagles, whom I was covering at the time. He was raw in technique but seemed to have good instincts for learning.

He then landed on the Ravens practice squad at the start of the 2011 season. He spent nearly three months in Baltimore before the New York Jets signed him off the Ravens practice squad and made him their starting right tackle the following season. Howard started all 16 games the next three years.

Howard then signed on with the Oakland Raiders. He was entering his fourth season with the Raiders after signing a five-year, $30 million deal in 2014. But the Raiders released him a week ago. At age 30, Howard is coming off a season where he played through a shoulder injury suffered in training camp and with ankle injuries that plagued him for much of the year. According to CSN Bay Area, Howard had shoulder surgery in January.

The Houston Texans were also interested, and Howard reportedly visited them Thursday before coming to Baltimore.

Assuming he passes his physical, Howard provides a big helping of depth and experience to the Ravens’ offensive line. He started 10 of 11 games on the Raiders’ offensive line last year, which was one of the best units in the league.

The Ravens waived tight end Crockett Gillmore (knee) with the injury designation to make room for Howard on the roster. A team could claim Gillmore, or the fourth-year veteran will revert to the Ravens’ injured reserve list.

Ironically Austin Howard does not yet show up on the Ravens first mandatory depth chart released just after his signing. You won’t find Kaepernick’s name here either!–at least, not yet:

OFFENSE
Position 1st 2nd 3rd Other
WR 11 Breshad Perriman 12 Michael Campanaro 85 Kenny Bell 13 Chris Matthews
88 Quincy Adeboyejo
83 C.J. Board
WR 17 Mike Wallace 18 Jeremy Maclin 10 Chris Moore 8 Griff Whalen
14 Keenan Reynolds
6 Tim White
LT 79 Ronnie Stanley 77 De’Ondre Wesley 70 Roubbens Joseph
LG 72 Alex Lewis 63 Jarrod Pughsley 65 Nico Siragusa*
C 66 Ryan Jensen 68 Matt Skura 62 Derrick Nelson
RG 73 Marshal Yanda 71 Jermaine Eluemunor 61 Jarell Broxton
RT 74 James Hurst 67 Stephane Nembot 76 Maurquice Shakir
TE 86 Nick Boyle 82 Benjamin Watson 87 Maxx Williams 16 Vince Mayle
84 Larry Donnell
81 Ryan Malleck
80 Crockett Gillmore*
QB 5 Joe Flacco 15 Ryan Mallett 2 Dustin Vaughan 1 Josh Woodrum
FB 34 Lorenzo Taliaferro 44 Ricky Ortiz
RB 28 Terrance West 39 Danny Woodhead 37 Javorius Allen 38 Bobby Rainey
33 Taquan Mizzell
30 Kenneth Dixon*
DEFENSE
Position 1st 2nd 3rd Other
DT 98 Brandon Williams 69 Willie Henry 93 Chris Wormley
NT 97 Michael Pierce 94 Carl Davis 91 Patrick Ricard
DE 96 Brent Urban 92 Bronson Kaufusi
Rush 55 Terrell Suggs 90 Za’Darius Smith 56 Tim Williams 95 Randy Allen
ILB 57 C.J. Mosley 50 Albert McClellan 45 Brennan Beyer 59 Lamar Louis
ILB 51 Kamalei Correa 48 Patrick Onwuasor 53 Bam Bradley 58 Donald Payne
Sam 99 Matthew Judon 54 Tyus Bowser 47 Boseko Lokombo
LCB 24 Brandon Carr 29 Marlon Humphrey 35 Brandon Boykin 43 Jaylen Hill
40 Reggie Porter
SS 23 Tony Jefferson 41 Anthony Levine Sr. 42 Otha Foster
FS 32 Eric Weddle 21 Lardarius Webb 36 Chuck Clark
RCB 22 Jimmy Smith 27 Sheldon Price 31 Robertson Daniel 49 Al-Hajj Shabazz
26 Maurice Canady*
SPECIALISTS
Position 1st 2nd 3rd Other
P 4 Sam Koch 3 Kenny Allen
K 9 Justin Tucker 3 Kenny Allen
H 4 Sam Koch 3 Kenny Allen
LS 46 Morgan Cox
KOR 10 Chris Moore 12 Michael Campanaro 14 Keenan Reynolds
PR 12 Michael Campanaro 21 Lardarius Webb 14 Keenan Reynolds

Injured*

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