Jerry Hughes – Defensive end/edge
Jerry Hughes had a decent season a year ago recording nine sacks, but it’s been eight seasons since he had double-digit sacks and he’s not getting any younger. At 35 years old, he’s one of the oldest players on the Texans' roster. Only long-snapper Jon Weeks is older and Case Keenum is the same age.
Aside from the nine sacks, Hughes wasn’t very impactful. According to PFF, he recorded only 13 solo tackles and earned a run defense grade of 59.7, so his contributions in that area were sorely lacking. With the newest additions to the Texans' pass rush, Hughes’ production can be replaced with younger options.
When a team is in a rebuild, yes it makes sense to have veteran leadership but at the same time, the Texans have a lot of talented players along the defensive line, that includes Sheldon Rankins, Will Anderson Jr., and Jonathan Greenard. Hughes will have to show the Texans he can still contribute in a substantial way if he is to survive roster cut down.
Hughes is in the final year of his two-year contract and carries a dead cap of $1.25 million this season and a cap hit of over $6 million. Cutting or trading him would save the team $5 million, which could come in handy depending on other options after cutting down to the 53-man roster on August 29th.