Listed are four free agency talents for the Houston Texans to target, which would be big Texans news if any were to join the roster.
With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, and the NFL schedule release being the spotlight for current Houston Texans news, it is time to start thinking about how the Texans are going to continue to approach free agency, and supplementing their roster leading up to the opening game of the 2020 season.
That season opener is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10 as the Texans will travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face reigning Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes, and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mahomes and Deshaun Watson both entered the league in 2017 as the 10th and 12th overall draft picks respectively, and both have become household names when it comes discussing the top quarterbacks in the league.
The clash of these two members of the quarterback class of 2017 is sure to ignite what should be an electric 2020 NFL season, but with both teams adding to their offense this season — though the Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins, but gained Brandin Cooks — the team boasting a more formidable defense may take the edge.
Houston Texans News: Adding to the edge would be smart
Speaking of the edge, it is a position every defense wants to emphasize. For the Texans, J.J. Watt is scary enough to an offense, but imagine if the Texans took free agent Everson Griffen off the market to have on the other side of the defensive line.
Watt is a master when it comes to snaking through the defense and finding the quarterback, including 21 quarterback hits in 2019 the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is impressive in himself.
However, Watt only had 15 solo tackles and for tackles for loss in 2019 as he played in eight games, while Griffen accounted for 26 solo tackles, and 11 tackles for loss in 2019. Combined, the two edge rushers would be brutal on an offensive line.
Added with new addition to the defensive line, Ross Blacklock, to bull rush through the tackles, the unit could be much more stout upfront with this addition in free agency.
Houston Texans News: Don’t forget free agency and the secondary
Staying on the defensive side of the ball, the Texans could continue to add to their secondary by acquiring one of the better cornerbacks on the free agency market, Prince Amukamara.
As a veteran name, Amukamara is entering his 10th NFL season. Although he only has 10 interceptions across the previous nine seasons, it’s worth noting that three of those interceptions came just one season ago in 2018, and in 2019 the vet accounted for 44 solo tackles.
Adding veteran talent to the secondary offers value to a team because they bring more experience to the field when it comes to reading quarterback movements, and are often more capable on-field communicators to help make live assessments and adjustments.
Following suit with another veteran, and this one a total ball-thief, Reshad Jones who has been stealing passes out of the air since his first NFL interception in 2011.
The career Dolphin has 21 career interceptions in 10 seasons, averaging nearly two interceptions per season. Jones’ highest interception count in a single season lands at five in 2015, and he also accounted for three of those interceptions in 2018, just like Amukamara, when he last started with Miami.
With a more robust defensive-front, Jones and Amukamara would both contribute to locking down deep threats and forcing quarterbacks into “safer” throws.
Houston Texans News: A free agent QB would help out roster depth
The fourth player on the free agency market that has seemingly slipped under team radars far-and-wide is a quarterback. Perhaps teams are blinded by the shiny No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow, or distracted by Tom Brady and “The Brady Bucs” reuniting with Rob Gronkowski, but with all of that noise silently awaiting a new home is Cam Newton.
Newton, the long time Carolina Panthers starting quarterback, was released earlier this offseason as Teddy Bridgewater is set to be the new field general in Carolina. While Watson is entering his fourth season as an NFL quarterback, Newton would offer an interesting dynamic to the offense. As a veteran quarterback, Newton would fit right into Houston’s offensive scheme if needed.
Newton will surely have other options before the start of the season, but it would be intriguing to have a quarterback of his caliber as an insurance option.
Management still has time to improve the roster before the Texans are scheduled to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the season opener. There’s no reason for Houston not to explore this avenues with a lot of talented players still out there in free agency.