ESPN low balls the Houston Texans offseason with middling grade

The folks at ESPN have been sipping some Haterade apparently.
Houston Texans Mandatory Minicamp
Houston Texans Mandatory Minicamp / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Few teams in the NFL had the offseason the Houston Texans did. They acquired key players in Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter to revamp the entire team's offense and defense. They made some quiet acquisitions like getting Joe Mixon and Ben Skowronek in trades. Houston even went out and fortified their cornerbacks and offensive line in the NFL Draft.

Beyond that, they even remade the entire secondary with some low-risk, high-reward moves. Maybe a team or two had a better offseason on paper than the Texans, but they made some of the best moves in the NFL this offseason. Seth Walder of ESPN disagreed and gave the Houston Texansa a B- for the offseason. A wild grade considering how much movement occurred.

Walder didn't have an issue with the moves, it appears, but with the financials. While he preferred retaining defensive end Jonathan Greenard over signing Danielle Hunter for the deal Hunter got, he did admit it was an upgrade. Yet, the restructuring of Diggs' deal, as well as the hefty contract given to Joe Mixon hurt the grade the Texan could've had.

There's merit to that. While I don't think it knocks you down from an A, I do think it hurts the team a bit in the long run. Trading away a second-round pick and voiding years on Diggs' deal was a bad idea. The team was under no obligation to do so, Yes, it helped clear space down the road to re-sign Nico Collins to a new deal, but if the idea was to extend Collins from the start, why trade for Diggs at all?

At the very least, why trade for Diggs and give up a second-round pick if this was always the move? That made no sense. Especially with his history of issues on past teams, it would have behooved the Texans to haggle for a lower price.

Likewise with Mixon, he's never been an elite runner and he's looking like he's slowing down some, so why give him a new contract? He hasn't proven he's a top guy ever, and now he's getting paid like one despite it being unlikely that he can live up to those lofty expectations that his new deal suggests he should be able to.

These are legitimate concerns that we should have. So we don't disagree with Walder's critiques, only that they aren't significant enough to lower the off-season grade that much.