Houston Texans: 5 moves needed to compete with Indianapolis Colts in 2019
4. Attack draft and free agency to improve secondary
As the 2018 season went on, and the injuries began to pile up, Houston’s lack of depth began to show. Positions such as wide receiver, running back and cornerback were hit the hardest. At one point in the season, the Houston Texans were forced to look at their practice squad for replacements, promoting Vyncint Smith to the active roster near the end of the season.
If Houston wants to not only compete with the Indianapolis Colts, but with the AFC in general, they will need to be aggressive in free agency and the draft. Houston is poised to enter free agency with $74 million in cap space per OverTheCap. This is after already franchise tagging starting defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Tagging Clowney helps to solidify the defensive line, but that’s not the biggest area of defensive need.
Two of the Texans starting secondary members are set to leave in free agency — Kareem Jackson and Tyrann Mathieu and it is doubtful at this point that the pair return. That being said, with the recent release of cornerback Kevin Johnson, a return for Jackson seems more likely.
Jackson has played with Houston his entire career, being drafted by the team in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Last season, Pro Football Focus had Jackson rated as the No. 2 cornerback in the NFL. Mathieu’s fate seems up in the air, with a loaded safety market, he may be seen as an expendable asset.
Players such as Earl Thomas and Landon Collins have been rumored to be potential targets for Houston if contract talks fall through with Mathieu. Collins has even admitted to liking Houston in a video posted to Twitter.