4 linebackers that the Texans need to look into this offseason

Who could potentially replace 2023 standout Blake Cashman and Denzel Perryman in 2024?

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Azeez Al-Shaair

Azeez Al-Shaair played underneath DeMeco Ryans from the 2019 to 2022 season when Ryans was the 49ers’ inside linebackers coach and defensive coordinator. There was a lot of speculation that Al-Shaair would follow Ryans to Houston when he became the team’s head coach last offseason, but Al-Shaair signed a 1-year deal with the Titans instead. Now he is a free agent again, and could finally reunite with his former coach and defensive coordinator.

Although Al-Shaair’s PFF grade dropped from 74.4 in 2022 to 64.7 in his first year as a full-time starter in Tennessee, he had an above-average season. He recorded 163 tackles and nine tackles for loss in 2022. If Al-Shaair did sign with the Texans, we could see remnants of his 2022 form. After all, DeMeco Ryans seems to be one of the best coaches in the league when it comes to maximizing talent.

Spotrac does not have a contract projection for Al-Shaair, yet Justin Melo of SB Nation seems to think that Al-Shaair could bring in about $7 million annually. Al-Shaair is a bit of a wild card in terms of what his return on investment will be. Still, this would be an affordable contract for the Texans and would bring in a familiar face for DeMeco Ryans to get his hands on.