3 former Houston Texans players we’re glad are gone, 2 we wish stayed

Looking back on how the first week of Houston's free agency has shaken out so far.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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3 former Houston Texans players we’re glad are gone

1. DL Sheldon Rankins

At the very least, Texans fans will always fondly remember Rankins' Week 10 game in Cincinnati. The former Saints and Jets defensive lineman had six sacks all season, and three of them came against the Bengals that week. Even with him having the second-highest sack total of his career last season, Rankins' wasn't particularly good – his missed tackle percentage was the highest of his career, his overall defensive grade from Pro Football Focus (64.2) took a step back from his previous year with the Jets (73.1) and his run defense grade was abysmal. His pass-rushing stats weren't half bad, but he'll be 30 next year, and the Texans clearly thought they could upgrade their defensive line. He wasn't the worst signing in recent memory, but it wasn't a hugely impactful stay in Houston for Rankins.

2. LB Denzel Perryman

Kind of in the same vein as Rankins, it's not like Perryman was unplayably bad – he had one of the best run defense grades of his career (79.8), put up 76 tackles, and tied a career-high in pass break ups (3). But, at 31, it doesn't take a lot to see the signs of someone who's past his prime: he hasn't played in more than 12 games since 2021, his missed tackle percentage has consistently stayed in the mid-teens over that stretch, and he had one of the worst years of his career in pass coverage. Especially for someone who doesn't play a lick of special teams, that's probably all the Texans needed to see. The former Pro Bowler already found a new home with the Chargers, so it'll be interesting to see how the last years of his career play out.

3. P Cameron Johnston

Johnston was about as average a punter as they come. He's had an overall PFF grade in the mid 60's for the last four seasons, always averaged a hang time in the low 4's, and consistently is averaging the high 40's for yards per attempt. Those numbers are enough to stick around the league for a while, but it's not like the Texans are going to lament giving up on an average punter any time soon.