How should the Houston Texans attack free agency?

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /

With NFL free agency on the horizon, the Houston Texans have some glaring needs and holes that need to be addressed this offseason.

So where does Houston Texans general manager Brian Gaine begin this free agency? Does he go all out and break the bank on big name free agents? Does he proceed with caution and not over pay with the chance of leaving the fans wanting more?

If last season was any indication of how Gaine will operate, I believe he may shock some people and fill out the roster with a mix of big names, and some under the radar players who will provide both depth and key impact on the 53-man roster.

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The Texans currently have approximately $78 million to spend this offseason according to That ranks inside the Top 10 in available cash, plus puts the Texans in a big position to drastically change the landscape of the franchise.

So where does the front office start? Should the Texans sign a left tackle, cornerback or even a safety? Maybe the Texans should offer an extension for former first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney.

If it were me, I’m either tagging Clowney or making sure an extension is done before the free agency period opens up on March 14 at 4 p.m. when the new NFL league year begins.

So what would an extension look like for Clowney you ask? I have seen projections north of $100 million for six years, to four years, $90 million. That’s a huge chunk of change to shell out, but to me, the Texans can’t risk losing Clowney to free agency, and at the very least must tag him and work on an extension after the fact.

Depending on how the Texans value Clowney, they could tag him as a outside linebacker, or tag him as a defensive end which would be roughly $18,653 million according to @TexansCap on Twitter.  Going with the defensive end tag could buy some good faith with Clowney and his people and get the ball rolling on locking him up long term.

Ok, so now that Clowney is locked up in this scenario, where do the Texans go from here? Secondary has to be the next stop, right? The Texans currently have two safeties on the roster, and a cornerback group that is on life support. OK, maybe life support is a bit harsh, but it really needs a surge of new life.

Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson are in house free agents that should return if the money is right. Both have earned a good pay day, but to be honest, the safety market is flooded with talent. Guys like Landon Collins, Earl Thomas and former Texan Glover Quin make up a stacked safety class this year. Quin himself has said publicly that he would be open to a reunion with the Texans should they feel the same. Texans should plan on spending around $8-10 million APY on a solid safety with the talent that is available.

Now on to protecting quarterback Deshaun Watson. The offensive line will need to be addressed and this is an area the team can truly afford to overpay a bit to get their guy. Several names jump off the page, Trent Brown, Ju’Wuan James and Daryl Williams. Keeping Watson upright must be a priority for Gaine and the Texans, and its going to cost in the region of $14-16 million APY.

I am truly OK with them signing two lineman, one for each side of the line even after bringing back Seantrel Henderson on a relatively inexpensive deal. Could it also hurt to look into upgrading the guard position? Absolutely not, but i feel with improved tackles, the guards will improve as well.

One thing I have not seen a lot of talk about is locking up kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn. He started off his 2018 campaign a little iffy, but was money down the stretch. Kickers may not seem like important pieces to the puzzle, but having one who you trust is a must!

Of course there are some other needs like wide receiver help, and names like Devante Parker and DeSean Jackson have been floated around. Running back depth is important too, and I seriously doubt they back up the Brinks Truck for Le’Veon Bell. Also what about backup quarterbacks because Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb are also free agents.

No group is more important than the cornerbacks and offensive tackles. Those are two areas to focus all their assets on, and help put this team over the hump. I believe with the addition of Landon Collins, Trent Brown, Parker or even Tyrell Williams, bringing back Kareem Jackson and key guys like Brennan Scarlett, Brandon Dunn are essential too.

Next. Houston Texans: 5 Running backs to examine in free agency. dark

To me would equal a very successful first free agency period for Gaine and the Texans would be a better team in 2019.