Houston Texans: 4 free agents who need to return in 2020

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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 06: D.J. Reader #98 of the Houston Texans celebrates with Whitney Mercilus #59 after a sack in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium on October 6, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

4. D.J. Reader (Defensive Tackle)

One signing that General Manager Bill O’Brien needs to think really about in detail is making sure defensive tackle D.J. Reader is back on the roster in 2020.

Reader finished the ’19 regular season with 28 solo tackles and 2.5 sacks. What is even better is since joining the league in ’16, his solo tackle numbers have increased each season, and his sack numbers have improved every season as well.

In his first four seasons with the Texans, Reader has played in 61 of a possible 64 games in the regular season and has collected 154 total tackles, 81 solo tackles and 6.5 sacks. Being in the middle of the defensive line, he’s most certainly helped linebackers and edge rushers with their jobs by taking on numbers battles in the interior battles with the opposing offensive lines.

Reader played in 65.3 percent of the snaps on defense for the Texans in ’19, which was slightly up from 2018 when he played in 63.7 percent of the Houston defensive snaps.

According to FootballDB.com, Reader was productive on first-and-10 plays in ’19 with 16 solo tackles, and second down plays where the opposition needed between 4-to-7 yards saw him total four solo tackles and a half sack.

All of that said, Reader needs to be re-signed by the Texans, and if O’Brien and the rest of the Texans’ front office are smart, they will make sure Reader is still wearing a Texans uniform in ’20.

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