Houston Texans pending Free Agent LBs: Where do they go from here?

The Houston Texans have a plethora of their own free agents that they need to make a decision on.

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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The Houston Texans have a plethora of their own free agents that they need to make a decision on. Two of which are LBs Blake Cashman and Jonathan Greenard. Greenard and Cashman were both key players to Houston's defensive success, and Greenard will more likely than not get a big payday next week. Through his four seasons with the Texans, Greenard started in 32 out of 48 games he played in. Through those 48 games, he has totaled 23 sacks and 120 tackles. After a 12 sack performance last season, his contract may be too pricy for a return to Houston, making Blake Cashman a more likely candidate to return.

ESPN's DJ Bien-Aime reported Wednesday morning that the team would like to keep Cashman, but Houston could be competing with a lot of teams for his services. At least 10 teams have expressed interest in the 27-year-old, according to Matt Lombardo of FanBuzz. With an extra $30M in cap space, that will give those 10 teams more money than they first expected to go out and make a slash signing, leaving Houston with a battle to keep his services.

Cashman, who came over from the New York Jets in 2022, started in 13 games this year, leading the team in tackles with 106. Considering the amount of good pass rushers available this year in free agency, the Texans could look to prioritize bringing back Cashman over Greenard, who should be considerably cheaper.

Greenard, who's only 26 years old, will have a very strong market and could become one of the league's highest-paid pass rushers when it's all said and done. Greenard, a third-round pick in 2020, learned from some of the greats in Houston, like JJ Watt. Now, he has refined his game enough to become invaluable to the Texans, and losing him would be a tough blow. GM Nick Caserio had this to say about the free agent rusher:

"[Greenard] had as good of a year as he's had since he's been in the league," Caserio said. "I think the big thing with J.G. is just being available. He had a lot of disruptive plays and took advantage of the opportunities. He's a good young player. So we'll work through the process with these players."-via ESPN.

HC Demeco Ryans will hope to keep the defense together and add more talent to it as well. But it will be up to Caserio to open his checkbook and pay to keep his home-grown talent around, considering Spotrac projects Greenard to sign for $13.4M annual contract (four years/$53.8M).

Caserio has done a great job building a playoff team without having to spend to do it, but now the players he has helped grow have become very talented and could leave, and he'll have to do something he hasn't done in the past. Spend up.

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