One Remaining Free Agent the Houston Texans Should Target
By Jacob Burns
In hopes of a bounce back season, one free agent on the market could help the Texans immensely.
It’s no secret that the Houston Texans need to show improvement this season. After finishing with a disappointing 4-13 record in 2021, the pressure is officially on for improvement in the standings for the 2022 season.
Houston hasn’t rested on its laurels however, as the team added key pieces like cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and offensive lineman Kenyon Green through the 2022 NFL Draft. Houston also signed players such as Jerry Hughes and Marlon Mack in free agency to help with the improvement of the roster.
Still equipped with just over $9 million according to OvertheCap, the Texans should make one more move to complete a successful offseason, and that move is signing offensive tackle Riley Reiff in free agency.
Reiff, who is the sixth-best remaining free agent according to CBS, would be the perfect addition for Houston. The former Iowa Hawkeye most recently spent last season as the Bengals’ right tackle, earning a 96.8 pass blocking efficiency rating per Pro Football Focus. Reiff also has experience playing both tackle spots, as he was drafted in 2012 to be Detroit Lions’ left tackle.
Houston likely wouldn’t bring Reiff in as the starter. Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard currently occupy the two tackle slots. Reiff, however, could thrive in the role of backup swing tackle. Plus, you simply can’t ever have too many good offensive linemen as that’s something the Texans have struggled with finding for a while.
Last season, Houston finished with the 29th ranked offensive line according to PFF. This was in large part due to Tunsil’s injury, as well as Howard having to be bumped inside to guard. Yet even with everyone back healthy, and to their normal positions, PFF ranks the Houston offensive line 22nd entering this season. Simply put, the need is still there for offensive line help.
The Texans are just one injury away from putting second-year quarterback Davis Mills in harms way once again. After being sacked 31 times in 13 games last year, Mills deserves some protection, especially in what likely could be a make or break season for the second-year signal caller.
This is why the Reiff signing makes so much sense for Houston. The team’s current backup tackles are shaky at best. Reiff would provide some much needed stability if ever called upon, and even if Tunsil and Howard play out the whole season, Reiff could still provide much needed mentorship to a young lineman like the rookie Green.
A one-year deal using their remaining cap space to sign Reiff would complete an already solid offseason for the Texans.