by Cutter Hicks, Sports 1140 KHTK
The Oakland Raiders and Austin Howard parted ways late Thursday night as the organization released the offensive tackle after three seasons.
The Raiders signed Howard to a five-year, $30 million deal with $13.8 million guaranteed prior to the 2014 season.
He started 29 of a possible 32 games during his first two years with the Raiders. However, Howard suffered shoulder injuries last season and he underwent offseason surgery on a torn labrum and rotator cuff.
Prior to signing with the Raiders, Howard had stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets. He was signed to the Ravens’ practice squad in between but was waived shortly after.
Howard thanked the organization with an Instragram post Friday morning.
OAKLAND!!! A lifetime of memories have been made these past three years, and I am grateful for every single one of them. Unfortunately my time with the #Raiders has come to an end. To my OL dawgs, love y'all boys. #RaiderNation appreciate all your support, you guys are like none other. I came to Oakland my first year with a start of 0-10… through hard work and dedication we built a team that had more success it had in years, and thus we turned this group of players into a play-off bound and elite team. Starting on this Offensive line for the majority of that time is something that I'll never forget. One thing I can say is that no matter the situation, no matter if it was battling through injury, or political scrutiny that this business demands, I left it all out the for my teammates and always had and will always have their back. I will always be proud of that. Thank you to Mr. Davis and the Raiders organization/coaches that allowed me this opportunity. Thank you to my family, especially my parents, siblings, my friends, my agent Kevin Robinson, and last but DEFINITELY not least my beautiful wife Larissa who has been with me since the beginning, and through the thick and thin and has SELFLESSLY been the REAL reason that I've been able to do my job on the field for the passed seven seasons, for all your love, support, encouragement and prayers! To my baby girl, Daddy loves you and couldn't imagine this life without you! Having an opportunity and blessing to share all of this with you has been the biggest gift of all…As upsetting as it is, that "business" gets in the way of a good thing, I know that this is not the end of my NFL journey. Looking forward to what God has planned for me next… #DoubleSevens #NotDone #SomethingBigComingNext #NFL #DontBlink #Challenge #ImUpForIt #MovingForward #TrainsComin #GodIsGood #WatchThis #Oakland #YearEight #SeeYouSoon #UNI #Panthers
The release allowed Oakland to save $5 million in salary.