Defensive tackle Jaye Howard signed a four-year deal (terms currently undisclosed) with the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, according to Pro Football Talk. Howard agreeing to terms means both Florida Gators draft picks are under contract with their respective teams heading into the 2012 season.
The No. 114 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Howard surprised many by being the first former Florida player selected. He was the 12th player at his position chosen in the draft and the first Gators defensive tackle picked since 2007 (Marcus Thomas). Howard has the size (6’3″ 301 lbs.) and upside to one day be a NFL starter but must first prove he can be consistent in a reserve role.
He was the ninth former UF player to be drafted by the Seahawks in franchise history and the first to join the team through the draft since 2000 (wide receiver Darrell Jackson). Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn assisted Seattle in their evaluation of Howard; his endorsement was a key to the Seahawks brining Howard in.
Former Florida running back Chris Rainey, the No. 159 overall pick in the draft, inked a four-year, $2.28 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.