There’s a handful of teams shifting into draft mode right now, while there’s also a few still mulling over free agency to fill their less expensive needs.
And then there’s the Texans, who are staying mute three weeks out from Radio City.
Rick Smith’s tight lips are no surprise for this time of year. The team went all out to get Ed Reed, knowing full well that money wasn’t an object during a tight cap year. Currently the Texans’ have roughly $3,800’000 left in cap room ahead of the draft, while eleven other teams have over $10 million left to spend.
The Texans haven’t been shy discussing their draft workouts. Tyrann Mathieu met last week, as did nose tackle Jose Jose earlier in March.What most of us are wondering though, is if the Texans will sign any other free agents before April 25 – since it’s hard to see every need answered in just seven rounds.
With close to $4 million left in space, the Texans do have a few options left on the market if they are in the hunt for certain spots. By all accounts, wide receiver will be answered in the draft. But if Smith is still interested in a defensive back, since he indicated so after showing interest in Nnamdi Asomugha earlier in the year, guys like Charles Woodson and Antoine Winfield are available.
Woodson has said recently that he’d be surprised if any team took serious interest in him just yet. At 36, the chances of anyone paying big money for him is low. He’s still a huge contributor to any secondary though, and knows he can bring in some leadership.
In other spots like linebacker, things are much more dire. Paul Kuharsky of ESPN’s AFC South Blog briefly discussed the possibility of the Texans taking a look at Brian Urlacher, but his age and diminished play seems too much for Wade Phillips to take on board. Plus, the need for a veteran at either the inside or outside spot isn’t a big requirement. It’s all about finding youth and depth.
The best linebacker still available is Karlos Dansby by a mile. He’s the perfect fit for 3-4 scheme, but commands some dough – somewhere in the gwo year, $15.1 million ballpark. The Texans don’t have that.
The only real position the Texans could possibly find someone for cheap is at offensive tackle. There’s already been a mild focus on keeping Matt Schaub on his haunches with the signing of fullback Greg Jones to help with pocket protection, and it’s expected to be a late round priority in the draft. Guys like Tyson Clabo are after a lot of cash, but someone like Brandon Moore should be seeking much less. So far he’s walked away from places like Detroit and Miami after allegedly seeing $1 to $2 million offers thrown at him. That’s about as good as it gets for a 33-year old, and the Texans could still afford that.
Still, I’d be really surprised to see the Texans sign anyone in the next two weeks. At most, signing some of their own free agents is more of a possibility than an outsider being brought in. That doesn’t mean the Texans won’t interview guys, but it’s likely to be draft picks – and possibly some big name wide receivers.
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