Houston Texans have a looming decision to extend a member of their offensive line
By Peter Manfre
Where would Howard’s future average pay land amongst right tackles?
The Texans picked up Howard’s fifth-year option and will pay him $13.2 million. That ranks as the ninth-highest figure amongst right tackles, per Spotrac. If the Texans were to extend Howard, the average pay would fall somewhere between the $12-15 million range if he remains steady at right tackle. If he were to excel and continue improving, he could garner an average salary north of $17 million per year.
The Houston Texans have allocated approximately a quarter of their cap space towards their offensive line this season, including Howard’s current pay of $13 million. If Howard’s contract were to only increase by roughly $2-5 million, that percentage could spike to 30%. While spending such a large amount of your money on the offensive line is not a typical formula for winning super bowls, it's not a bad idea to shore up a line entrusted with protecting the franchise. Understanding the importance also depends on the length of the contracts.
The Texans have four of their five projected starting offensive lineman on contract through at least 2026, sans Howard. If the Texans give him a short-term extension, such as the three-year deal Tunsil signed, they can maintain the line during their franchise quarterback's rookie deal. Teams are more likely to spend high dollar amounts to aid their young quarterback before they have to (hopefully) pay that quarterback.
Doing a short-term deal allocates a lot of money toward the offensive line but still creates cap flexibility in case the current youngsters on the roster deserve extensions. A three-year deal would also line up with the contract the Texans just gave Shaq Mason and would mean that all three offensive linemen extended this summer would come off the books in 2026.