The O.J. Howard dream is officially over for the Cincinnati Bengals.
After hosting Howard for a visit Wednesday, the veteran tide end visited with the Houston Texans today.
Now, Howard has agreed to a deal with the Texans, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
So, what exactly happened?
After all, when news broke that Howard was visiting the Bengals, the expectation was a deal would get done assuming the visit went well.
However, that was before the Bengals claimed tight end Devin Asiasi off of waivers from the New England Patriots. While the Bengals still hosted Howard for a visit, Asiasi joining the roster likely led to Howard and/or the Bengals cooling off on getting a deal done.
While Howard seems like the superior option, he’s clearly taken a step or two back after tearing his Achilles in 2020. He followed that up with a 2021 season in which he was unable to make an impact, catching just 14 balls in 17 games while finishing with a career-low 49.0 PFF score.
Howard then signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Buffalo Bills this offseason but was released during final roster cuts. The Bills will now eat $2.6 million in dead cap this season, and another $625,000 next year. That’s a pretty telling sign that Howard just isn’t the same player he was early in his career with the Bucs.
Here’s to hoping this doesn’t come back to bite the Bengals down the road.