Houston Texans: 4 free agents who won’t be back in 2022

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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2. Christian Kirksey, LB

It isn’t that the contract of Christian Kirksey is the tipping point of bringing back the linebacker for the 2022 season, it is the fact his numbers aren’t the best and is he a big part of the future of this franchise?

Next year will be the eighth season for Kirksey as he has 44 solo tackles, two QB hits and one interception in ’21, but the folks at Pro Football Focus have graded him with a grade of 46.9 as the NFL season enters Week 15.

Kirksey is a veteran player who can help those around him, but if the Texans are thinking long-term, he’s probably not in those plans. Again, this is just a prediction because none of us really know what’s going through the mind of general manager Nick Caserio, but when Kirksey originally signed a one-year deal this past offseason it just had the feeling of that … getting through this ’21 season.

Saying Kirksey won’t return isn’t saying he’s not a good player with NFL talent, but if the Texans want to get better for the future, they need to start playing younger players more and sign younger players to contracts that can help the team for the next five or more seasons as they learn the game through this rebuild.