Replacing Blake Cashman with Azeez Al-Shaair makes no actual sense

The Houston Texans made the bold and wreckless move to let Blake Cashman walk.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Houston Texans were the 6th best rush defense in the league last year thanks in part to guys like Jonathan Greenard and Blake Cashman. They weren't the only two who contributed, obviously, there was a whole gaggle of guys who contributed, but guys like Cashman stood out. He was arguably the best against the run for the Texans all season long and what made him so good was that he was a solid defender against the pass.

He wasn't going to generate any pass-rushing pressure, but he could stick a guy with a good tackle and keep up with most players who were running routes. He was a Pro Bowl-caliber player who rightfully should've gone, and instead, the Texans let him walk. Cashman signed with the Minnesota Vikings for $22.5 million over three seasons.

$7.5 million seems like a drop in the bucket for a guy with endless potential and a high ceiling. Instead, the Texans decided to give $34 million to Azeez Al-Shaair, which over the course of his three-year contract gives him $11.3 million.

By every metric you want to measure, this is a downgrade at the position and an overpay for a player who has never had a Pro Bowl-caliber year. It's mind-boggling that Ryans would risk the health and consistency of his defense by going for a player who has a proven track record to be, at best, a backup. Now he's making $11.3 million? For what reason? This is as dramatic as an overpay as one can have and considering that he's never had a season as good as Cashman, we have to wonder what the basis of this signing was for.

He's not younger, only about a year apart. He's not better, he's never had a year as consistent as Cashman's. He's not cheaper, which initially was the reason why I thought they'd made the move. This was simply Ryans going with a guy he deemed one of his own over a guy he inherited.

This move better work out, because if the Texans regress, it'll be because of bad moves like this one.