Houston Texans: Nobody is saying it wasn’t a good idea

Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans have been making many decisions as of late, but have they been for the better of the franchise?

For those of you that have not seen “Django Unchained,” there is a scene in the movie that is fitting for the current situation of the Houston Texans and the 2019 regular season.

A group of men get together and are all wearing masks that they seem to be struggling with seeing out of. After a bit of discussion and some hurt feelings, one man proclaims that while the effort on the masks is appreciated, the execution is just not up to what is necessary to complete the job. If that general idea sounds incredibly familiar, then you are probably a fan of the Texans, and you probably think some occurrences recently just could have been done better.

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After a rough outing from defensive back Aaron Colvin in the season opener against the New Orleans Saints, head coach Bill O’Brien decided that Colvin had enough opportunities this season (and last season) and sent him out the door. It was not a terrible idea considering that Colvin gave up a 25-point fantasy day when targeted, assuming you are in a PPR league.

However, cutting Colvin comes at a cost of the $7.5 million he was guaranteed for the year. If you are doing the math at home, the Texans have now paid just over $15 million to have players not play for them. The Texans also paid pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney an $8 million bonus before sending him to the Seattle Seahawks.

This offseason the Texans allowed Kareem Jackson to walk, probably due to the fact that they felt his asking price was too high. Jackson signed for $33 million over three years with the Denver Broncos. Last season, Jackson was third in the league with 17 passes defended. For Colvin’s entire NFL career, he has recorded 15 passes defended. Colvin also hasn’t intercepted a pass since his senior season at Oklahoma. Considering that it does not seem that the team ever intended on keeping Clowney, and they were willing to give Colvin a year’s salary for part-time work, agreeing to what Jackson was asking for seems like the better option.

After the tough loss to the Saints in Week 1, the front office decided to extend center Nick Martin and make him the second highest-paid player at his position. Congratulations to Martin and his family — it’s always nice to see someone get paid, and I am not going to put my hands in someone else’s pockets — but with the team being against paying some of their players that have performed and been recognized as some of the league’s best, paying a member of the weakest part of the team seems odd.

As previously mentioned, the Texans though Jackson and Clowney both were not worth whatever dollar amount they established for themselves. After the struggles J.J. Watt had facing double and triple teams, it would seem that the team could use another pass rusher to help out. After cutting Colvin, the team is admitting that they made a bad choice giving him a roster spot. Had they made this decision sooner, maybe keeping Jackson would not have been a problem.

While it is nice to see that team does have a plan to use the cap space they have, they do not seem to be investing it in the best way. It is very pleasing to see the efforts to invest in the offensive line, but so far this season they have committed at least two first-round picks the Laremy Tunsil trade and $33 million in allowing six sacks by the offensive line in Week 1.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I love that the Texans made a move and got a young player like Tunsil. Maybe you were expecting me to say that the Texans gave up too much? Well, you are correct, they did but, as is the theme of the season so far, the idea was great. The execution just was not there.

Similar to the drafting of offensive lineman Tytus Howard in the first round, the value just did not seem to be there. When Howard was drafted, fans and experts were shocked to see him taken at the spot he was. Even if he someday ends up in a gold jacket, it is still “bad” value since he would probably be available later in the second round. In the Tunsil trade, the Texans gave up two first-rounders for a player that has yet to make even a Pro Bowl.

Trent Williams is a seven-time Pro Bowler and has not reported in Washington after publicly stating he is unhappy and wants out. Williams is older than Tunsil, but he is more proven at this point in his career, and may have come at a cheaper price than Tunsil considering the situation he and his current team are in. There is something to be said for ignoring outside noise and just getting the guy you want, although in getting the guy they wanted, the Texans gave up a couple chances to try again in the draft if for some reason this idea does not cut it.

As is custom, the reaction to a Week 1 loss is that every move up to this point was bad and the season is over. There is reason to be optimistic about the roster, especially on offense. However, with some of their recent decisions, the front office has sort of closed the window on itself for how quickly this team needs to win it all, if it can.

Next. Texans vs. Jaguars: 5 Questions with Black and Teal. dark

I am not sure how long of a leash O’Brien has at this point as the head coach, but if these moves do not show the expected success soon, there could be trouble for him, and then he will not have to worry about if he could have done it better because it will be up to somebody else.