Derek Newton could help solidify the Texans offensive line


Derek Newton has not appeared in an NFL game since 2016. When discussing the offensive line of the Houston Texans, Newton is often forgotten about. This is due to suffering a serious injury in Week 7 of 2016 against the Denver Broncos. Newton tore both patellar tendons and has spent his time on injured reserve. Later the Texans moved him to the physically unable to perform list. Newton’s potential return could help solidify the Texans offensive line.

Offensive line was a recurring issue for the Texans in 2017. Duane Brown held out until his eventual trade. Each week it seemed that another offensive lineman went down with a season ending injury. With the extensive list of injuries suffered by the Texans offense line, Newton’s impending return could certainly help. Having another veteran lineman would provide stability among a group that essentially played musical chairs all season.

Prior to this past season Newton restructured his contract to allow flexibility for the Texans. Newton went from earning $4.75 million each year to $1.75 million in 2017, $2.25 million in 2018 and $2 million in 2019. While taking less money while not being able to play makes sense, Newton could have just as easily refused to take a pay cut.

DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 24: Tackle Derek Newton
DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 24: Tackle Derek Newton /

In Newton’s absence the Texans started Breno Giacomini in his absence. Giacomini was signed to a one-year deal for $1 million. Before the season it was abundantly clear that Giacomini was a stopgap solution for one season. While Giacomini started all 16 games, his performance was less than stellar. Pro Football Focus grades Giacomini as poor and ranks him as the 82nd overall tackle. Giacomini performed admirably given the circumstances however he was not able to provide adequate performances throughout the season. If the Texans were to retain Giacomini on another cheap deal as insurance for next season that is not a bad idea. However expecting him to start all 16 games and be productive is a little much to ask.

From Injured Past to Potential Future

Looking forward to next year and beyond Houston should be able depend on Newton in the short term while finding the right tackle of the future down the road. The experience of Newton can help protect Deshaun Watson. Newton can provide Houston the ability to progress into a more conventional NFL offense. While Bill O’Brien utilized Watson’s athletic ability to get around the sub-par offensive line, it is in the best interest of Watson and the Texans to move towards a conventional offense. This will help protect Watson and keep him healthy for the foreseeable future.

The key for the Texans offense next season is stability and consistency on the offensive line. When a team disappoints offensively more times than not problems on the offensive line is to blame. Consistency among this group is essential to offensive success. Newton can help provide consistency for the Texans. In addition to consistency, stability will also be achieved. This will help the team grow offensively and become more dangerous in the future.