OT, CB, OG, RB, TE, WR
Available Draft Picks:
1(2), 2(54), 2(55), 3(87), 5(151), 6(183)
Starting Cap Space:
WR Demaryius Thomas from $14,000,000 to $10,000,000
G Senio Kelemete from $4,000,000 to $2,000,000
Demaryius Thomas didn’t make a huge impact in his first season for the Texans, he should be able to find success in his next season with the offense with a healthy Will Fuller V. Taking a bit of a pay cut here could end up helping the team in free agency, especially with the big cap hit that Jadeveon Clowney will bare. Senio Kelemete continued to underperform this season, given that he would have almost no cap hit if cut, I could see him restructuring to avoid becoming a cap casualty.
CB Johnson Bademosi to save $2,750,000
Johnson Bademosi is the only cut this offseason. He’s been buried on the depth chart, making him much more expensive than he is valuable, so the decision to let him go here is an easy one since almost any rookie defensive back could match his lack of production.
Franchise tag Jadeveon Clowney for 1 year, $17,920,744
K Ka’imi Fairbarn for 1 yr, $570,000 (ERFA)
DL Christian Covington for 1 yr, $2,105,000
OLB Brennan Scarlett for 1 yr, $750,000 (RFA)
Jadeveon Clowney is a monster when he’s healthy but the problem throughout his whole career has been that he’s been unable to stay healthy. Bringing him back on the franchise tag gives him one more year to prove himself, produce, and hopefully stay healthy to earn himself a big contract or to let Houston know that he isn’t the answer. Ka’imi Fairbarn became more consistent inside of 40 yards but struggled more this past season than he did in 2017 so bringing him back on a cheap deal is an easy decision, maybe bring in some competition to either push Fairbarn to succeed or replace him if he loses the battle. Christian Covington is a solid depth player that just finished with his career high in sacks, bringing him back for one more year gives another opportunity to prove himself and earn a longer term deal. Brennan Scarlett is a cheap depth player to bring back as a restricted free agent, nothing big.
Free Agent Signings:
CB Jason Verrett for 1 yr/$6,800,000
G Rodger Saffold for 4 yrs/$50,000,00
S Nat Berhe for 1 yr/$750,000
OT Donovan Smith for 3 yrs/$34,500,000
Rodger Saffold played like one of the best, if not the best, guards in the NFL this past season and he’ll be getting paid like it with this deal. Pairing Saffold with Donovan Smith will be an expensive deal, but it would be well worth it if it means keeping Deshaun Watson in a clean pocket and healthy. Jason Verrett has played in five games over the past three years so giving him a good chunk of money for a one year deal could be the steal of free agency this season. Nat Berhe was known in college for his ability to really lay the wood so bring in a player here who’s capable of being an intimidating presence either rotationally on the defense or as a special teamer, but he can bring some physicality to this defense.
1.23 – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Byron Murphy would be a great value here. Personally, I’d have him being gone here but due to size and scheme fit, I could see him falling a bit and this would be an absolute steal. Murphy is a scheme fit for the Texans and would elevate this secondary just that much more.
2.54 – David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
Kareem Hunt without the off-field issues. David Montgomery has the potential to set the league on fire in his rookie season. He’d possibly be an immediate starter in the Texans backfield and could help really open up this offense.
2.55 – Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M
Arguably the second best flex tight end in this years draft class, Sternberger would be another cog in the machine for a Texans offense that’s starting to look really dangerous here.
3.87 – Michael Jordan, IOL, Ohio State
Michael Jordan is a versatile offensive lineman that could rotate in and compete for snaps at guard or center. Finding a third rounder with the potential to be a starter along the offensive line could be a big move here.
5.151 – Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
The question has never been does Jalen Hurd have the talent, it’s been more about his dedication to football. That’s not the most reassuring thing to hear but ever since Jalen Hurd unexpectedly left Tennessee, it’s been asked constantly. Hurd left Tennessee to become a wide receiver and play elsewhere because he was protecting himself from injury and extending his playing career, he’ll be a late round steal and a piece for trick plays in the NFL.
6.183 – Sutton Smith, EDGE, Northern Illinois
Sutton Smith isn’t one of the bigger name EDGE defenders in the draft, but he’s a high-motor guy that’s had a productive career at the college level. Being undersized is the biggest knock on Smith’s game but the Texans could find a rotational piece for their defense here.
Cap Space Spent on Re-signings:
Cap Space Spent on Free Agents:
Cap Space Spent on Draft Picks:
Total Cap Remaining:
QB: Deshaun Watson
RB: David Montgomery
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins
WR2: Demaryius Thomas
Slot: Will Fuller V
TE1: Jace Sternberger
TE2: Ryan Griffin
Offensive Line Starters
LT: Donovan Smith
LG: Rodger Saffold III
C: Nick Martin
RG: Senio Kelemete/Michael Jordan
RT: Julie’n Davenport
Defensive Line Starters
WDE: DJ Reader
NT: Christian Covington
SDE: JJ Watt
WLB: Jadeveon Clowney
WILB: Zach Cunningham
SILB: Bernardrick McKinney
SLB: Whitney Mercilus
CB1: Byron Murphy
CB2: Jason Verrett/Johnathan Joseph
Slot: Aaron Colvin
FS: Andre Hal
SS: Justin Reid
K: Ka’imi Fairbarn
P: Trevor Daniel
KOS: Ka’imi Fairbarn
LS: Jon Weeks
KR: Jalen Hurd
PR: Jalen Hurd