Saying that Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio has been busy throughout the first week of free agency would be an understatement. Over the past week, the Texans have either signed, traded for, or re-signed 24 players. An overhaul of Houston’s roster has been inevitable for months, and Caserio did not waste a second before starting on the project.
Overhauling a roster is even more difficult when you’re faced with salary cap limitations, and Houston’s poor position with the salary cap was well-documented heading into the offseason. Caserio has been working really hard to bring in cheap labor on “prove it” deals.
All 24 of these acquisitions for the Houston Texans won’t find themselves on the 53-man roster come September, but it is safe to say that a few of these additions could look like massive steals by the end of next season. One of the best pieces of business done by the Houston Texans and Caserio so far was the addition of running back Phillip Lindsay, who agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.25 million last week.
The Texans arguably had the worst running game in the NFL last season. While Houston’s mediocre offensive line wasn’t helping matters, the Texans didn’t get enough out of their running backs last year.
This was clearly marked as a weakness heading into the offseason, and Houston Texans brass has been working to improve this position group early into free agency. In my opinion, the Texans made a mistake when they elected to retain David Johnson for the last year of his deal. In addition to retaining Johnson, the Texans also brought in veteran Mark Ingram on a one-year deal. However, I don’t think the lion’s share of touches will go to Ingram or Johnson in 2021.
Houston Texans: Will Phillip Lindsay will become the top RB for franchise?
To call my shot now, Phillip Lindsay will emerge as the alpha of this group for the 2021 season. Still only 26 years of age, Lindsay’s career thus far has been a great story of resiliency and determination. After going undrafted out of the University of Colorado, Lindsay signed with the local Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent.
Lindsay spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons as the face of Denver’s backfield, tallying over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons to go along with 17 total scores. In addition to his success running the ball, Lindsay also highlighted his versatility by tallying over 70 receptions throughout his first two seasons.
Due to the addition of star Melvin Gordon, Lindsay saw his workload take a hit in 2020. But in a reserve role, Lindsay still totaled 502 yards on a respectable 4.3 yards per carry.
After watching his role as Denver’s feature back slip away, Lindsay will come to Houston with a chip on his shoulder. In all likelihood, he still looks at himself as a player that should be a lead back again somewhere. I love his chances to win this role back in Houston.
By all accounts, Lindsay is a high-character individual that was beloved within the Denver locker room.
Despite being undersized and undrafted, Lindsay has worked tirelessly to prove he belongs in the league. He will come to Houston hungry to prove once again that he is capable of being an NFL starter. Lindsay’s hard-working, chip-on-the-shoulder attitude is a great foundation to construct a roster.
The Houston Texans have a long way to go, and the roster is still far from competing. But fans should currently be mildly optimistic about Caserio’s ability to buy low on cheap, high-ceiling talent.