The Houston Texans have had a near perfect offseason with the moves they have and haven’t made.
Houston Texans fans have been upset at the lack of moves from the team thus far in free agency this offseason. Contrary to popular belief, the Texans have had a nearly perfect offseason and here is why.
The Texans have signed safety Tashaun Gipson to a three-year, $22.5 million contract, as well as cornerback Bradley Roby to a one-year, $10 million contract. They also signed defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun to a one-year, $900,000 contract. It may not be as many moves as Texans fans would like, but they are solid moves, and I would hesitate to have made more in the free agent period so far.
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In 2017, division rival Jacksonville Jaguars had an enormous amount of cap space. They signed former Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye to a huge contract, as well as bringing on Calais Campbell and Barry Church. After drafting Leonard Fournette, and having the rise of 2016 day two picks Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue, they won the AFC South and went to the playoffs. This past season they missed the playoffs, and with barely any cap space they had to release several players to make room for a non-rookie quarterback contract in Nick Foles.
The Texans entered 2019 free agency with about $72 million in cap space after tagging Jadeveon Clowney, and they have only spent $15 million in contracts on the books following the ’19 season. Cornerbacks and offensive linemen were obvious needs for the Texans, as well as some may argue for running back or tight ends. Safety became a need after Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson walked in free agency, too.
The reality of it is that Gipson got signed for much better value than both Mathieu and Jackson. Roby is an upgrade from Shareece Wright who saw way too many snaps last season, and Boddy-Calhoun for $900,000 is a low-risk-high-reward signing.
Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman are more than capable at running back, and the Texans drafted only two tight ends last season. It would have been nice to see the Texans target offensive linemen, but for the money Trent Brown got within the first 20 minutes, it would have been ludicrous to match. The Texans were in on Rodger Saffold until the final minute, but the result was baiting divisional Tennessee Titans into signing him to the 12th largest guard contract in the NFL.
The Texans have been smart with their money to avoid being in the situation the Jaguars were in when it is time to extend Deshaun Watson. They have three picks in the first two rounds, where it would be unsurprising to see all three go towards either offensive line or cornerback.
It’s also important to consider that not every free agent is all about money. While it plays a role, and a big one at that, the top players will usually have the opportunity to mull over many teams in their decisions. Some of them possibly decided that Houston was not the best place for them.
With cornerbacks like Jimmy Smith, Trae Waynes, Eli Apple, William Jackson, Marcus Peters and Xavien Howard all set to hit the market in 2020, it is essential that the Texans were financially smart with their money. With that, the Texans have had a very successful free agent period thus far, but the second-wave value picks will still be very telling.