With NFL Free Agency kicking off in just over a week, will the Houston Texans be big players in the market this year? I believe the answer is yes. But mainly only when it comes to their own players.
Currently, the following Texans’ players are free agents: Akeem Dent, inside linebacker – Kareem Jackson, cornerback – Tim Jamison, defensive end – Kendrick Lewis, safety – Ryan Mallett, quarterback – Danieal Manning, safety – Derek Newton, offensive tackle – Ryan Pickett, nose tackle – Brooks Reed, outside linebacker.
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All of these free agents started for the Texans at some point last season. And a case could be made to bring back most of them. But the three biggest names are Mallett, Jackson and Newton.
The Texans want Mallett back and he wants to be back. It’s obvious that Houston believes he is their future at the quarterback position. Now, the only question is how much it will cost them to make that happen.
Houston has spent a lot of time developing Jackson. It would be a shame to see him play for another team after doing do. And I believe Newton has shown enough progression in the last year to justify bringing him back onto the line.
Even with their potential re-signings, Houston has various needs to fill going into both free agency and the NFL Draft. And what the Texans’ decide to do with their draft selections depends heavily on their free agent acquisitions the next two months.
Here are some of the more interesting names to that are scheduled to hit the free agency market in just over a week: tight end Julius Thomas, wide recevier Randall Cobb, guard Mike Iupati, cornerback Byron Maxwell, wide recevier Torrey Smith, linebacker Jason Worilds, offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, center Rodney Hudson, cornerback Brandon Flowers, and linebacker Brian Orakpo. All of whom would be instant upgrades to Houston’s roster.
But can the Texans really afford to bring in a high-priced free agent? The answer is maybe.
Overthecap.com currently projects Houston’s salary cap space to be $14,973,239. You’d have to assume a good portion of that amount will be used to re-sign some of their own, more important free agents.
Obviously, that salary cap number can change with some creative accounting. For instance restructuring existing contracts, like forcing veteran wide recevier Andre Johnson to accept a pay cut. Or even releasing underperforming players will have an affect on just how big the Houston Texans can be players in the upcoming free agent market.
Now, we’ll just have to watch and see what Houston decides to do.