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It’s pretty much done folks.
All of that armchair scouting, imaginary cap maneuvering, all those internal free agent negotiation monologues, painting done to turn the bedroom into a war room, have pretty much been completed. The offseason has reached its conclusion from a personnel stand point. The rosters are just about set. Yeah, sure, Dez Bryant will sign somewhere. Jeremy Maclin will find a one year contract. Some extensions will be made. But overall, NFL teams are complete.
This offseason the Texans started off with $63,802,367 after cutting Brian Cushing. The only player of consequence they released was Derek Newton who will probably never play professional football again 🙁 . Jeff Allen is listening to The Dream is Over on the PUP list but is still here, Lamar Miller hung around, Ryan Griffin is still running into the flat. The one obvious cut was made.
Houston put their cap space to work. One of the reasons why Rick Smith made the trades he made in 2017 was because of the cap space Houston would have available in 2018. What he failed to forecast was this free agency class was pretty meh. The Texans resigned Angelo Blackson, Bruce Ellington, Johnathan Joseph, Ufomba Kamalu, Shane Lechler, Corey Moore, Brian Peters, Alfred Blue, they extended a qualifying offer to Greg Mancz to keep him around, and in free agency they added Tyrann Mathieu, Johnson Bademosi, Aaron Colvin, Zach Fulton, Seantrel Henderson, and Senio Kelemete. Sure there were minor moves like claiming Sammie Coates and Brandon Weeden, and releasing Chunky Clements, but these weren’t the big ones. Houston didn’t spend it all though. They didn’t go all in. The inefficiency of free agency swirled around their brain. As of today, the Texans have the fifth most cap space available per Over The Cap with $35,428,346.
In the draft the Texans stood still. They didn’t trade up. They stayed where they were at. They drafted and signed Justin Reid, Martinas Rankin, Jordan Akins, Kek Coutee, Duke Ejiofor, Jordan Thomas, Peter Kalambayi, and Jermaine Kelly, and added a slew of undrafted free agents. This is the entire list: OLB Davin Bellamy, CB Andre Chachere, RB Lavon Coleman, G Anthony Coyle, P Trevor Daniel, DE Mason Gentry, T Jaryd Jones-Smith, G K.J. Malone, NT Kingsley Opara, WR Vyncint Smith, RB Terry Swanson, WR Jester Weah, DE Jalen Wilkerson.
And as of today, I’m pretty ecstatic about what the Texans did. Houston didn’t overpay and overextend themselves to fix their two dying needs, the offensive line and the secondary. They were unable to give Nate Solder everything to be mediocre. They upgraded the offensive line by signing the second best guard available in Zach Fulton, and a potential but inconsistent starter in Senio Kelemete. Seantrel Henderson hasn’t played in three years and wasn’t even good then, but at least he’s really big? Drafting Rankin in the third round should fill a tremendous hole at right tackle. No longer will Houston have the worst offensive line in football.
They added talent to the secondary to help out with their other enormous need. Aaron Colvin, Tyrann Mathieu, and Justin Reid, are all versatile players who can do a multitude of different things. To make up for not having a lockdown corner, the Texans will probably run a variety of different looks, three safety sets?, multiple zone coverages, and should be a unit good enough to complement a diabolical pass rush if it stays healthy.
Sure, there are things I wish they did differently. I wouldn’t have selected Akins in the third round. I would have signed Cameron Fleming over Henderson. I would have brought in Austin Seferian-Jenkins as a low risk, athletic tight end option. I would have thought about going in on another big name free agent and tried to steal Kyle Fuller from Chicago. But considering everything, the market, and the draft picks available, I’m happy about what Brian Gaine did this offseason.
I would give it a B+.
What about you?
Read more at Battle Red Blog.