Texans Lack of Additions a Huge Plus
- Updated: March 22, 2017
Free agency is the season of hope for so many franchises and fan bases as they can fantasize over who the team could sign and subsequently how a signing will impact the franchise. Thirty-one of the twenty-two NFL teams have signed at least one player. The lone team to sign absolutely no one? Your Houston Texans. This has left many fans upset with the franchise so far in the 2017 free agency period. Instead, fans should be rejoicing.
The team lost four notable free agents in A.J. Bouye to the Jaguars (5 yr. 67.5 mil), Quintin Demps to the Bears (3 yr. 13.5 mil), John Simon to the Colts (3 yr. 17 mil), and Oday Aboushi to the Seahawks (2 yr. 2.2 million). They also traded away Brock Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns, thus unloading his 16 million base salary for next season.
Of these players, the two offensive subtractions will most likely not be felt on the field; both Brock and Oday were not set to contribute as starters. The three defenders will be felt, as Bouye was the top corner on the market, Demps just came off of a career year having registered six interceptions, and John Simon, who had a very solid campaign. Replacing these three will be third year former first round pick Kevin Johnson at corner, either or a draft selection at safety or Kareem Jackson moving to the position indefinitely, and sophomore Brennan Scarlett paired with the rotation of Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus. The Texans have the depth on the defensive side of the ball to absorb these losses.
With that being said, it appears Texans general manager Rick Smith has his eyes set on the future. If the trading of Osweiler did not occur, or the resigning of Bouye did occur, the front office would have had to decide between signing one of the two of Deandre Hopkins and former number one pick Jadeveon Clowney. That no longer is the case. The Texans now have enough cap to sign both offensive and defensive perceived cornerstones. The ability to resign first round picks hitting their prime is a key to sustaining a winning culture. As the cap rises, so will the contract prices; signing a guy a year early is often cheaper than waiting until the market sets the price, especially for premier positions such as wide receiver and pass rusher. Instead of having to bear the loss of one of them and have a huge hole to fill, the team now can resign both at a potentially cheaper price than if they hit the market, and can continue to allow them to grow in the schemes for the next four plus seasons depending on contract length.
Another addition is the potential to be awarded a league leading four compensatory selections for the 2018 NFL draft highlighted by a potential third rounder, as reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. With the team already down a second round pick, and having the potential of three max signed players in three time defensive player of the year J.J. Watt, and the aforementioned Hopkins and Clowney on the books, having an influx of cheap contracted players through the draft to develop will be a huge addition. The team could use the selections to retool and develop young role players to replace more expensive role players. Such would be the case with players like John Simon and Quentin Demps; both were great role players for the Texans whose price was too steep to pay for what would be a minimal role on the team. Other teams offered more for an increased role, something the Texans understandably did not feel comfortably committing to.
With the lack of signings, the Houston Texans front office has set its future up very well. The potential to add four young players through the draft along with the retention of Hopkins and Clowney is much greater than overpaying for a player in this free agency class; as the Texans needs, quarterback and offensive line, have seen significantly bloated contracts that would have left the Texans in a miserable cap situation. Fans should be rejoicing, not complaining at what has been a relatively quiet off season for the Texans.
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