Houston Texans’ Free Agency: Day 2 Recap
As the frenzy begins to wane a bit following a hectic Thursday afternoon, the Houston Texans have yet to make a splash signing. Most notably, the team has watched a few of their own players bolt to divisional rivals in the last 36 hours. Furthermore, the team has yet to make a widely-anticipated run at Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo. As the weekend approaches, it will be interesting to see if the team’s holding pattern changes.
After watching their star cornerback A.J. Bouye sign a 5-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, the Houston Texans saw their starting safety Quintin Demps leave for Chicago on a 3-year deal Thursday evening. With both players gone, the Texans will look for internal improvement to replace these players. Kevin Johnson is a former 1st-round pick who was injured early on last season. However, he has the potential to slide into the starting job vacated by Bouye. At safety, the team will be looking for help from Chris Moore, who had an interception in the team’s Wild Card win against the Raiders. Either way, expect the team to target a defensive back in the second and third wave of free agency.
Houston Texans Pass Rush:
The Texans saw 26-year old outside linebacker John Simon agree to a 3-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts on Friday. This move created another opening for a starting job on the NFL’s top ranked defense. With Simon gone, the Texans are down their top cover corner, top ballhawk safety, and a versatile pass rusher from a season ago. With needs on the offensive side of the ball, it will be interesting to watch how the team addresses replacing three starters on the defensive side of the ball.
Offensive Line Questions:
The Texans are looking for improved play along their offensive line, particularly on the right side of the ball. The team has spent resources on players to help address the problem, but have seen their investments suffer frustrating injuries. Last season, the team signed former Kansas City Chiefs guard Jeff Allen to a 4-year/$28 million deal. Allen struggled in his first year in Houston, and is now recovering from offseason ankle surgery. The team also signed lifelong Texan Derek Newton to a contract extension to man the right tackle position. After suffering, not one, but two patellar tendon ruptures against New England last season, Newton’s career is in doubt. While the team is rightfully focused on addressing the quarterback position, protecting that new quarterback should be an equally important priority. How the team chooses to address the line in free agency remains to be seen. They did host Mike Remmers for a free agent visit. However, Remmers has since signed with the Minnesota Vikings on a 5-year/$30 million deal.
The main story still being talked about is the stunning trade of Brock Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns. The Texans shipped off a 2nd round draft pick in 2018 with Osweiler in exchange for salary cap relief. With the available space, many anticipated the Texans targeting a known commodity at quarterback. With guys like Jay Cutler and Tony Romo available, the team has some tough decisions to make. Do they take another chance on a veteran quarterback in free agency? Do they risk not addressing the position and having the top QB prospects get picked before they’re on the clock? This question is the most imperative to answer, and the team will probably have an answer to this question in the coming days.