Houston Texans: Potential moves that can open up more cap space
By Jair Lopez
The Houston Texans will be entering this offseason with important decisions to make regarding several marquee free agents.
According to Spotrac, the Houston Texans will have $67,986,499 in cap space to re-sign their pending free agents and sign free agents from the other 31 NFL teams. The defense will have impactful contributors hitting free agency, outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, defensive backs Tyrann Mathieu, and Kareem Jackson will be available to negotiate with other NFL teams in March.
All three players played at a high level for the Texans and were valuable in the team’s success in the regular season. Clowney was second in the team with nine sacks and has plenty of upside at only 25 years of age. Along with his nine quarterback sacks, Clowney recorded 21 quarterback hits, 47 combined tackles, 16 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, and a defensive touchdown. His phenomenal season earned him a starting spot in the 2019 Pro Bowl.
Mathieu and Jackson had impressive seasons of their own and were listed as alternatives for the 2019 Pro Bowl. Jackson had 87 combined tackles, 17 passes defended, five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions, one sack, and one quarterback hit. Meanwhile, Mathieu had 89 combined tackles, eight passes defended, two interceptions, five tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, three sacks, and four quarterback hits.
The Texans have ample cap space to retain these players, but they could have competition with other teams based on their level of play they displayed this season. Texans could shed dead weight in existing contracts they currently have and open more cap space to remain a competitive team moving forward. The team is in good shape financially and will continue to have a competitive advantage as quarterback Deshaun Watson is still on his rookie scale contract.