Vince Wilfork To The Houston Texans Makes Sense


News broke this weekend that the Houston Texans kept two of their own key free agents from hitting the open market. The first bit of news was a five-year deal with starting tackle, Derek Newton. This agreement was followed by a four-year contract being agreed to between Kareem Jackson and the Texans.

Amid all the good news this weekend some may have missed a quick tweet by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. McClain throws out the idea that Vince Wilfork, the 6’2″ 325 pound tackle could be a possibilty for the Houston Texans.

The idea makes a lot of sense for a couple of reasons. One, Wilfork knows what defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel expects of his players. Familiarity with a coaching staff goes a long way in the NFL.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want this to become the retirement home for cast off New England Patriots. I am also not looking for head coach Bill O’Brien to bring in all his former college players and get slapped with a nickname like Houston Nittany Lions.

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That is a reputation I prefer to stay with Chip Kelly, the head coach and director of apparently everything for the Philadelphia Ducks (I mean Eagles). There is such as thing as scouting beyond what you already know.

However, it has worked before when a coach brings one of his guys. Hall of fame head coach Bill Parcells made a career out of changing teams and bringing familiar guys along who understood how he wanted players to perform.

Second, Wilfork would be an upgrade at the nose tackle spot. The big man can still play at a high level, even though he will be 34 next season.

Running a 3-4 defense requires a massive nose tackle. Without a big guy clogging up run lanes and taking on blockers, everyone around them becomes limited. Imagine how much scarier defensive end J.J. Watt would be with big Vince taking two blockers all on his own.

Wilfork also showed last season he can still be disruptive. After returning from a ruptured achilles, he managed to record 47 tackles. Not too bad for a guy on the wrong side of 30.

Lastly, and in my opinion, most important is the positive effect he could have on the man who would be his understudy, Louis Nix III.

Nix was selected in the third round of the 2014 draft and was highly thought of by many of the experts, including NFL Network’s Mike Mayock.

"“Nix is a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle. At 350 pounds, he’s extremely stout. He should probably play at 330, because he can get tired and when he gets tired he loses the leverage battle.” – Mayock"

Nix never got a chance to prove himself in 2014 as several knee injuries knocked him out for all of his rookie campaign. What is even worse is the rumblings that the team is already becoming frustrated with the player they selected to be the lane clogger for their 3-4 defense.

A guy like Wilfork who has been a consummate professional could be exactly what a player like Nix needs. Sometimes a savvy veteran is more valuable to a team than anyone ever realizes.

Of course as in all business related transactions, this whole idea will come down to the bottom line. If Vince is looking for a big contract, than Houston is most likely not the place for him. If he is looking to get into a system he knows, be paid a fair amount and help a young team get over the hump, this would be the perfect landing spot.