Houston Texans Free Agency: Tight End Julius Thomas A Possibility?


The Houston Texans have a few needs to address this offseason, mainly at the quarterback position. With roughly only ten million in cap space (according to Over the Cap) it doesn’t seem like a huge splash could be made. However if the team can rework the deals of some veteran players like wide receiver Andre Johnson and perhaps restructure defensive end J.J. Watt‘s deal, there can be some room to make a big signing.

According to NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, Houston is one of the teams who need to draft a quarterback. If the Texans decide to make a move in the first round and get a quarterback, or if they stick with either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Ryan Mallett, their offensive leader in 2015 could benefit from a strong security blanket at the tight end position. Considering that starting tight end Garrett Graham caught only 18 passes in eleven games played, an upgrade here make great sense.

The cap is a fluid thing, but still shifting money on restructures can be disastrous for the future. Even so, Denver Broncos free agent tight end Julius Thomas is the kind of guy you take such risks on. Thomas has 24 touchdowns in the last two seasons and can expand on those numbers even more if he were to leave Denver. In the mile high city, Thomas has had to contend for catches with such receivers as Wes WelkerDemaryius ThomasEric Decker and Emmanuel Sanders.

If Houston is able to lure Thomas, he will be one of the primary options for whoever plays quarterback in 2015. Andre Johnson (assuming he is not a cap casualty) is a sure handed pass catcher, but has never had double digit touchdowns in any season.

DeAndre Hopkins is a deep threat who recorded 1,210 yards and six touchdowns in 2015. Adding an explosive tight end to the mix would open things up for Hopkins and Johnson to shine in their respective roles. In fact, a proven playmaker and threat over the middle can take some of the attention of opposing safeties away from Hopkins, making him even more explosive

Thomas did say leaving Denver was a possibility. Unfortunately he has hinted at going to the Oakland Raiders, his favorite team as a child. Far too often though players speak of their favorite teams but do not end up going there.

As much as they liked the team growing up, they usually prefer more money and better chances at winning. Houston could definitely offer more wins than Oakland, so regardless of how things turn out Julius should be at least contacted by the Texans.

Eventually the team needs their offense to match the play and potency of their defense. J.J. Watt is a monster on defense and there is still some hope that Jadeveon Clowney can become a solid 3-4 outside linebacker, even if his injury makes that impossible in 2015. Picking up someone like Julius Thomas can help the offense become more explosive, making the team less reliant on the defense to win games on their own.

The downside for the young free agent tight end (aside from a high price tag) is his lackluster blocking. Yet his threat as a slot receiver and red zone target more than makes up for any shortcoming in regards to the blocking game.

Next: Five First Round Draft Options For The Houston Texans

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