The Houston Texans couldn't afford to miss out on Arik Armstead

The Houston Texans have had a rough go of it this free agency and Arik Armstead only fortifies that.

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Houston Texans have failed a lot this free agency to land the big names that many hoped for. The signing of Danielle Hunter was fantastic, but outside of that, the signings have been average at best or flat-out bad. The real bad thing is that even the average signings of Azeez Al-Shaair and Denico Autry, ironically both from the Tennessee Titans, would be fine but they were dramatically overpaid.

Then you have guys like Jeff Okudah who should be trying his hand at the UFL, who not only overpaid but likely wasn't worth picking up at all. Hunter was a great get, but the other "big moves" have been disappointing. Some fans aren't going to like their bubbles being busted like that, but it's the truth. The Texans had oodles of cash, and the best they could get was a 34-year-old defensive end, an overpaid linebacker who has never had a good year in the NFL, and a cornerback who is on his third team in five years.

Not great.

That's why the signing of Arik Armstead was so huge. He was a guy that DeMeco Ryans liked and the team wanted to sign him, but they clearly had a cap figure in place for him they weren't willing to go over. A salary figure that seemed to be affected after Hunter was acquired. The Texans were on the verge of trading for him, prior to his release, but after Hunter signed his contract there was clearly a concern about money.

So the deal fell apart. Armstead got released, the Texans were still in the hunt for him but he wanted $17 million or more per year. That was a number the Jacksonville Jaguars were willing to pay, and so they locked him up for three years, at $51 million for the life of his contract. It was a number that the Texans were not willing to match or beat, a trend for this free agency period.

The same thing happened to Saquon Barkley and lord knows who else, where the Texans were seen as the favorite but somehow fumbled the ball. So instead of Armstead, they signed Tim Settle, and boy, did they ever. While some fans want to live in a world of optimism, where the Texans never do anything wrong, the fact is they had the opportunity to land a lot of talent this free agency period and they just couldn't pull it off.

The secondary is still a wreck, the offensive line isn't improved and the players that they did sign are either downgrades from what they had prior or don't have the reputation needed to justify the hype.

It's always possible some of these name truly find their footing with Houston, it's also just as possible that these players were free agents for more reasons than just their salary.