As the new league year gets underway, the battle for the top dogs in free agency is in full force. The Houston Texans have lost one of their top dogs in A.J. Bouye to free agency. Furthermore, they have seen their star corner leave for a divisional rival. Tuesday afternoon, A.J. Bouye signed a 5 year/ $67.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The deal includes $26 million in guaranteed money. The contract makes Bouye one of the highest paid cornerbacks in the NFL, and is a tough pill to swallow for the Houston Texans.

Bouye enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2016. He recorded 16 pass deflections and had an interception for the league’s top defense. After beginning the season on the bench, Bouye surpassed Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, and Kevin Johnson on the depth chart. His play was impressive against receivers such as T.Y. Hilton and Allen Robinson. Bouye excelled in matching up in man coverage, and was a physical player in the run game, recording 55 tackles.

Houston Texans’ Take:

The Texans have a lot of money tied up in their cornerbacks already, and this contract would’ve been massive for the Texans. While the talent leaving is hard to replace, the Texans are in position to use their cap space on other positions. Additionally, the NFL draft looks to be stocked with cornerbacks, and the team could focus their attentions on a replacement with the 25th overall pick. With free agency just getting started, the Houston Texans could still be looking to make a splash signing. Stay tuned to Pro Football Spot for all the latest news.