With the first notable move of the off season (Wade Smith doesn’t count), the Houston Texans re-signed their Pro Bowl middle linebacker to a 6-year contract worth nearly $48 million (21.75 guaranteed).
Don’t get me wrong, I am ecstatic for DeMeco and his future with Battle Red Nation but are we truly improving from last season? Will eight draft picks, Wade Smith and a content DeMeco Ryans realistically add W’s? The answer is no.
I am no advocate of the “Dan Synder” philosophy of farcically over paying last season’s over-achievers, (See Albert Haynesworth) but a proven NFL player can add to a team in a way that the draft cannot. If your team is on the cusp of success (which the Texans seemingly are) then why not fill a position of need with a legitimate veteran. In 2008, the Saints were 8-8. In 2009, they won the Super Bowl. What were two of the significant moves they made in the off season? They hired defensive coaching guru Gregg Williams and signed veteran free agent Darren Sharper. Amazing.
Dunta’s departure left a gaping hole at CB coming into the off season. The Texans glazed over a chance at an All-Pro CB in Antonio Cromartie (Apparently a 3rd round pick was too high a price for Mr. McNair). Leigh Bodden (Patriots, CB) was supposed to be the big name acquisition for the Texans…Unfortunately, he re-signed in New England. Oops.
Pretend you are Bob McNair for one day. He trusts his staff to make logical free agent signings, yet they have all but failed in the past. Do you risk signing a veteran free agent to fill a void or make all of your significant roster moves through the draft? Do you even have time to wait for your young draftees to “come into their own”?
Houston demands wins. Houston demands them now. What do you do?