The Houston Texans have numerous free agents going into the 2020 NFL offseason, and a decision needs to be made on Johnathan Joseph.
The Houston Texans have a decision to make on veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph this offseason. The 35-year old will be a free agent entering his 15th NFL season, as he’s played five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and the past nine with the Texans.
This past season, Joseph played in 14 games with 11 starts, finishing with 51 totaled tackles (43 solo) with 13 passes defensed and one interception. This was the second straight season that Joseph collected 13 passes defensed, as he had the same total in 2018.
Being that next season will be his 15th season, it is no secret that Joseph isn’t the same player he once was, but sometimes he is still able to get the job done as he was graded by Pro Football Focus at a 64.0 overall for the season. Pro Football Focus also has that Joseph was targeted 78 times in ’19, allowing 48 receptions.
Here are the past five seasons of Joseph’s targets and receptions allowed:
2019: 78 targets-48 receptions allowed (64.0 overall grade)
2018: 84 targets-47 receptions allowed (80.4 overall grade)
2017: 67 targets-39 receptions allowed (67.5 overall grade)
2016: 69 targets-41 receptions allowed (66.5 overall grade)
2015: 90 targets-50 receptions allowed (80.0 overall grade)
Texans Insider and HoustonTexans.com lead writer Deepi Sidhu recently wrote about how Joseph inspired current New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, quoting the All-Pro cornerback in a recent article:
"“I looked up to him as a kid,” Gilmore said last week in Orlando. “Now that I’m in the league, he’s still playing and on the field at a high level. I hope that one day I get to play that long, play that consistently, like he has.”"
The Texans have a big decision to make, but if they were to bring back Joseph, it can’t be for any longer than a one-year deal, and even then that is still a tough decision. Joseph’s most recent contract was for a $5.9 million cap number last season with a $4 million base salary, with $1.5 prorated bonus and a $500,000 per game bonus.
The Texans will have plenty of picks in the mid rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft after compensatory picks are rewarded, and those are spots where the franchise can improve the secondary, too.
For the Texans, they will most likely have to move on from Joseph as the secondary of the Texans needs some changes, and it is tough to move on when there is a 35-year-old in the secondary. Houston need to look in free agency for a big-time cornerback and also see who is available in the upcoming draft in the second or third rounds.
Joseph has been a great player for the Texans, but the feeling seems to be he won’t back on the roster in 2020.