Houston Texans targeting certain free agents ahead of NFL Draft
In a down year of elite talent hitting free agency, the Houston Texans’ front office is going after a specific group of free agents.
The majority of the Houston Texans free agent signings have one thing in common, the greater part of players signed by Texans general manager Brian Gaine will not count towards the team’s chance of earning a compensatory draft pick from the NFL in 2020.
Texans were expected to move on from their 2010 first round draft pick, versatile defensive back Kareem Jackson in free agency. Jackson agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos in the first day of the moratorium period to a three-year deal worth up to $33 million. The Texans also lost defensive back Tyrann Mathieu in a battle with the Kansas City Chiefs to a three-year contract worth up to $42 million.
Early in free agency, the Texans lost two important contributors in the secondary to deals that were expected to net them a decent return in compensatory picks in the next draft. Gaine’s plan in free agency came clear when he signed safety Tashaun Gipson to a three-year deal $23 million after the Jacksonville Jaguars released him to clear cap space.
Texans canceled out one of their compensatory draft pick they were slated to earn when they signed unrestricted free agent cornerback Bradley Roby to a one year $10 million contract. Since then, Gaine has signed defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun, offensive tackle Matt Kalil, quarterback AJ McCarron, and tight end Darren Fells after they were released from their respective NFL team or weren’t tendered a new contract for the 2019 season.
Texans have superficially shored up some of their needs at backup quarterback, offensive tackle, veteran blocking tight end, and signing two athletic veteran cornerbacks to short deals for this season.
The offseason signings have allowed the Texans to potentially earn a compensatory pick moving forward with the departure of Mathieu and addressed needs on the team with players with low-risk high upside to short term deals.