The Houston Texans had a successful season in 2023 and a lot of that had to do with the pass rush coming on strong in the second half of the season. Led by Jonathan Greenard, Will Anderson Jr., and of all people, Derek Barnett, the Texans started getting after the quarterback far better than before and it turned the Texans' defense into something to worry about. The team looked radically different by the end of the year as opposed to the start of it, and a lot of that was on the defense.
But one of those names, Greenard, is a free agent and the folks at Pro Football Focus (PFF) are projecting him at a three-year contract worth about $47.25 million. That's not a lock to what he'll get. The price could be higher or lower, and the contract length could be adjusted as well. At 26 years old, the short length would allow him to get a second bigger contract should that be his goal, so it makes sense that this is the projection PFF came up with.
The Texans have $55.75 million in projected cap space, and while $15+ million per year can quickly eat a lot of that number, it's not so much for a guy who has shown to be a pretty reliable pass rusher. Far from elite but well worth a good contract.
Now, Myles Garrett made about $16 million in 2023 with incentives this past season, so are we saying Greenard is as good as Garrett as a pass rusher? No, but getting 10+ sacks isn't easy and teams will likely come calling for him. It's likely that whatever his year-to-year is, NFL teams defer the bulk of the contract until the last year or after the contract expires and if that's the case and Greenard is amendable to getting paid after the fact, the number of teams who are going to want to sign Greenard is going to be far more than we realize.
He's a key asset for the Texans to retain and with his desire to return, it's very possible that despite the interest in him, Greenard will be a Texans player in 2024.