Houston Texans: Three highly paid defenders that need to step up

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Aug 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws in the pocket as tackle Ty Sambrailo (74) blocks against Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans absolutely whiffed on their 2012 first round selection when they took outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus with the 26th overall selection. He was supposed to help put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and despite every offensive player being focuses on the most dominant pass rusher in the game, he never managed more than seven sacks in a season.

During his contract year, Mercilus recorded 50 tackles and five sacks. Hardly dominant numbers, but for some reason the powers that be in Houston decided that was worth a four-year deal in the amount of $26 million.

So basically Mercilus, who averaged six sacks per season, was given more than $6 million a season (a million per quarterback sack). In five games since getting paid, Merciless has 15 tackles (yes that really is only three per game) and zero sacks. If you watch a Texans game, you may not even realize he is on the field at all.

I can understand wanting to keep a player familiar with the system, but I find it hard to believe anyone else in the league would have offered Mercilus close to what Houston wound up paying.

All I can say is Mercilus’ agent is good. He is really good.

For the Texans it would be nice for the linebacker to start making sure people realize he is still on the field.

Next: Another invisible defender