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Howard Hits Open Market; Jets Sign Folk To Reported Multi-Year Deal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Jets were already looking for offensive line help before they ran into problems re-signing Austin Howard.

The big right tackle will apparently test the free agent market, the Daily News reported.

Howard, 26, is seeking a multi-year deal and was thought to be a priority for Jets general manager John Idzik, but the sides couldn't agree to terms before Tuesday's 4 p.m. start to the free agency signing period. As a result, a very good and young offensive lineman will be free to explore his options.

Howard was scheduled to visit the Oakland Raiders, the Daily News reported Tuesday evening.

Signed off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad in 2011, Howard started 32 games over the previous two seasons and quietly emerged as a solid run- and pass-blocker. The 6-foot-7, 333-pounder allowed only two sacks and committed just two penalties in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Jets reportedly showed interest in free agent linemen like Jon Asamoha, Zane Beadles and Geoff Schwartz, but Asamoah reportedly agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons and Beadles was heading to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Schwartz was believed to be close to a deal with the Giants.


The Jets are reportedly very interested in quarterback Michael Vick and were hoping to reach an agreement with him soon, but do have a visit with Josh McCown scheduled.

Both figure to draw plenty of interest around the league. The Buffalo Bills were reportedly interested in Vick, while McCown had visits planned with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans.

Vick reportedly told former teammates on the Philadelphia Eagles that he believes he will end up with the Jets.


Kicker Nick Folk won't have to worry about job security as long as he keeps doing what he did during the 2013 season.

Hit with the franchise tag last week, Folk signed a reported four-year, $12 million contract with the Jets on Tuesday, the Daily News reported. He will receive $2.1 million guaranteed.

In his fourth season with the Jets, Folk made 33 of 36 field-goal attempts, including three winning kicks. He broke the franchise records for most consecutive field goals from the start of a season (23) and most consecutive home field goals (20). Folk also had a career-high 30 touchbacks on his kickoffs.


It's no secret the Jets could use a few pass-catching targets for young quarterback Geno Smith, but early on in free agency Idzik appeared to be biding his time.

It is believed the Jets covet Golden Tate, who played an integral role in the Seattle Seahawks' championship season. Tate, as reported by ESPN, was spending Tuesday night visiting with the Detroit Lions.

The Jets are also rumored to have interest in Emmanuel Sanders, among others.

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