Houston Texans: Don’t forget about D.J. Reader this offseason

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 27: Defensive End D.J. Reader
BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 27: Defensive End D.J. Reader /

The Houston Texans have players who go under the radar, and one of those players is defensive lineman D.J. Reader.

With most of the accolades on the Houston Texans defense going to the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Johnathan Joseph — and deservingly so — another player to not forget about this offseason as all the new faces join the roster is defensive lineman D.J. Reader.

Reader is entering his fourth season with the Texans and has been one of those players on the cusp of breaking the mold and really becoming a force for the Texans as he has the abilities to be a difference maker on the defensive line, plus he’s a durable player as he started in 30 of the past 32 regular-season games for the Texans.

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Last season, Reader played and started in all 16 games for Houston, where besides the likes of Watt and Brandon Dunn on the defensive line he totaled 33 combined tackles, 23 of which were solo. Reader also added five tackles for loss, three QB hits and two sacks to his 2018 season totals.

Reader weighs in at 347 pounds, and the 6-3 defensive lineman has played both nose tackle and defensive end in each of the past three seasons of his NFL career, one of which had four total sacks, 102 total tackles, 53 solo tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 11 QB hits.

The Texans are also in a contract year with Reader, so maybe this is the season where he really starts becoming a complete player — one that will really force the Texans to think hard about giving him a contract extension.

According to OverTheCap.com, Reader, who is just 24 years old, is scheduled to make his best pay day of his NFL career with a $2,078,845 pay out this season, which is the final year of his current rookie contract.

Last week in an article, Mark Lane of TexansWire of the USA Today quoted Reader about his contract talks entering the 2019 season:

"“Everybody wants to make it to contract No. 2 in their career,” Reader said. “That’s not something I’m thinking about right now. That’ll be something that’ll be talked about with somebody else.”"

Reader has an excellent chance to show the entire NFL just how valuable of a player he is at both nose tackle and defensive end. Reader makes those players around him better and is a sort of unsung player on the team, but that is fine because he’s such a talented player.

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The Texans would be smart to keep him on the roster for future seasons, but also don’t forget about Reader as he’ll make all of the old names and new faces around him better this upcoming season ,and hopefully for the Texans, for seasons beyond, too.