On defense, the more refined and specialized you are at one position, the more valuable you are to the Houston Texans. On the offensive line, it’s the opposite. Versatility may count more than individual skill, according to head coach Bill O’Brien.
The Texans will have to test their commitment to this theory as they willingly let multi-positional linebacker Brooks Reed go during the free agency to the Falcons, (who maybe paid a little too much) and are faced with entering the 2015 season without a seasoned center, having let go veteran Chris Myers a few weeks ago. The main reason for risking life without Myers? About $6 million in cap space.
The idea was that prominent left guard, Ben Jones could step up and capably takeover the reins the seven year field general left unattended. While Jones is a solid lineman, his move to center caused second year man, Xavier Su’a-Filo to shift over into left guard. This may be where the Texans’ anxiety might stem from. Su’a-Filo played only 130 snaps last season and still remains, in large part a wild card.
At this point of the offseason, the position is more likely his to lose rather than his moment to shine. Offensive lineman have time in their career to be an understudy and prove their weight to earn a spot in the trenches.
And while Houston may have hoped to save money by releasing Myers, he’s still owed just over $2 million in a prorated bonus. It may be time to bite the bullet and go cheap next year when Jones and Su’a-Filo have one more solid year of experience to stand on. It certainly couldn’t hurt.
With many more questions to be answered for the Texan’s roster still in training camp, keeping a guy, accompanied with his 11 year NFL resume might go a long way.
Especially when he’s one last guy who you have to teach the new system to.