Update: The Las Vegas Raiders have officially signed OJ Howard.
The LA Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders have both been busy so far this offseason. The Bolts have worked hard in bringing back key free agents while the Raiders have seen a lot of roster turnover with Jerry Tillery laughably headlining the returning free agents for Las Vegas.
Vegas took a step back at quarterback in going from Derek Carr to Jimmy Garoppolo and are naturally going to take a step back at tight end as well. The Raiders traded Darren Waller to the New York Giants for a third-round pick and don't really have the best of options in mind to replace him.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Raiders are hosting OJ Howard, making him a candidate to be the potential "Darren Waller replacement". It is important to note, Foster Moreau is also a free agent and appears on his way out of Vegas as well.
Chargers fans should get a kick out of the Raiders potentially replacing Darren Waller with OJ Howard.
One of the best things to do as a sports fan is laugh at one of your biggest rivals and Chargers fans have been able to do that a lot with the Raiders this offseason. It is unclear what the Raiders are trying to accomplish this offseason and whether or not they actually want to contend for a playoff spot.
This is just another example of a move that Chargers fans can laugh at. The Waller trade itself did make sense for the Raiders. Waller is a bit injury prone and if the team was out on him then it might as well get an asset for him while it can.
But if you are going to trade a dynamic pass-catching tight end you better at least have a decent replacement in mind. While Howard is a former first-round pick and is a big name, he is not a decent replacement for Waller.
Howard never quite turned into the tight end that NFL pundits thought he could be. Early in his career everyone was waiting for a breakout to come and it simply never did. Then, once Tom Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the team got good, Howard's numbers started to fall even more.
Howard has posted under 200 receiving yards in each of his last three seasons. Since 2020, the former first-round pick has hauled in 35 receptions for 426 yards and five touchdowns. In 2022 alone, Gerald Everett hauled in 58 catches for 555 yards and four touchdowns.
But in classic Raiders fashion, the fanbase will convince itself that Howard has untapped potential that Josh McDaniels can maximize and that he will be a solid replacement for Darren Waller.
Meanwhile, all Chargers fans can do is sit back and get a good laugh at the mental gymnastics that will be going on in Las Vegas.