Houston's Unrestricted Free Agents

Hadn't seen a list of them yet, so I was glad to see John McClain list them in his Notebook in today's Chronicle.  In no specific order, these Texans are free to sign with whoever they want come March 1st:

Mark Bruener
Antwan Peek
Troy Evans
Chad Stanley
Ron Dayne
Ephraim Salaam
Lewis Sanders
Dexter McCleon

Bruener is an interesting case.  He's very valuable from a blocking standpoint, but not nearly the receiver he used to be.  Plus, you've already got Owen Daniels and Jeb Putzier at TE.  It'll be worth watching his situation develop.

Peek has allegedly been on the cusp of a breakthrough season for about the last three (3) years, but has shown minimal improvement since Scott's boy Casserly drafted him out of Cincinatti in the third round of the 2003 draft.  He's a certifiable head case, yet I could easily see another team offering him a nice contract because of his potential.  I'd let him walk.

Evans is a special teams asset with limited use elsewhere.  I don't foresee much of a market for him, and he's clearly one of the leaders on special teams.  Bring him back.

If the Texans re-sign Chad Stanley, it can only be because Stanley has compromising photographs of Bob McNair.  He should have been cut after nearly every game this past season.  He's simply awful.

Ron Dayne should be re-signed.  End of story.

Salaam should be given a new deal as well.  He can play several positions on the offensive line, and he was a valuable spot-starter at left tackle when injuries forced him into the starting lineup.

I can't imagine that Lew Sanders is going to be in high demand anywhere.  I'd consider bringing him back on the cheap, but that's more of a testament to the pathetic state of the secondary than what he brings to the table.

McCleon was signed off the street by Rick Smith in the middle of this past season and did a serviceable job.  I'd bring him back, targeting him as a back-up to create some depth.

The only two that I'd be adamant about bringing back are Dayne and Salaam, though I'd like to see McCleon in steel blue, battle red, and liberty white next season as well.  I'm eager to hear the thoughts of everyone else on this topic.  None of these guys are world-beaters, or even necessarily starters (and on a 6-10 team, that's saying something), so I imagine there's some differing points of view out there.

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