Houston Texans: Three highly paid defenders that need to step up
By Randy Gurzi
Sep 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) makes a touchdown reception during the first quarter as Houston Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson (25) defends at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The first offseason move I really was not a fan of was the re-signing of cornerback Kareem Jackson. Houston gave the young corner a deal worth $34 million over four years. My problem isn’t with Jackson himself, as he isn’t a bad player, but he really isn’t good enough to be making top dollar at his position.
The reason I say this is simple, there is no such thing as a shut-down cornerback in the NFL anymore. The rules favor the receivers and so there simply is no one that shuts a guy down.
That being said, give me the corner who creates turnovers any day over the guy that tackles a receiver as soon as he catches it, which is what Jackson does. Turnovers…not so much.
With just ten interceptions during his first five seasons, Jackson showed he is not going to make the plays needed by a big-time corner. This season he has showed no change there as he has recorded zero interceptions and has only defensed two passes. That is not worth nearly $9 million per season.
Jackson was beat routinely by Andre Johnson on Thursday and at one point was so badly embarrassed by a tight end in the end zone that he foolishly shoved Dwayne Allen in the end zone on a terrible pass, which gave Indy a free first down.
In the NFL today corners are a product of their system. Don’t believe me? Ask the Dallas Cowboys or the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dallas signed former Kansas City corner Brandon Carr to a huge deal and while he is still starting for the team, that is simply because they cannot afford to cut him. Carr has been the most picked on defender for the Cowboys defense for four seasons now. He had zero picks last season and looks like he is trying to duplicate that total this year.
The Eagles “won” the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes and he lasted only two more seasons in the league after his enormous contract. The Eagles once again dipped into the free agent pool and brought in Byron Maxwell this season on a huge deal. In his first game against the Atlanta Falcons, his former defensive coordinator picked on him all day, and it worked all day.
That $9 million a season to Jackson could have gone towards something much more productive, like a pass rusher to help Watt out.
Next: Speaking of 'pass rushers'