This post by DocTexan showed good analysis and deserved the bump to the front page. Nice job Doc, keep up the good work - TransientTexan.
I'm actually gonna argue that this is a very positive thing. John McClain reports that Dunta and (gasp!) Demeco are not going to report for the voluntary workouts because they're upset about their contracts.
At first glance, this looks just awful for our beloved Texans. Two of their best players and leaders on defense are going to "take a stand" and skip out on the weightlifting and sprints portion of the offseason workout because they are upset about their contract situations. Oh God!!!! That's it, our season is over right? No (in my opinion); this is a positive for this year.
Look, I get how upset Demeco is, the guy is an absolute warrior and there has been no word on the specifics of the contract that was offered to him and that he turned down. He DEFINITELY deserves more than the $1.4 million he's gonna be paid this year. There's absolutely no question about that in my opinion. But the bottom line is that Rick Smith offered him a long-term contract of unknown amount and by turning it down he was prepared to play another year with an extremely underpaid tender.
Dunta is another story. Rick Smith offered him a contract that (again) in my opinion was as much or more than than I would have placed his worth at considering he was coming off a horrendous injury. Dunta had the opportunity to be among the highest paid cornerbacks in the NFL with $23 million guaranteed, so he really does not receive my sympathy as per Demeco. If your ego is too big to accept a more than fair deal, don't complain when you're guaranteed ~$10 million, you're just not gonna get many points with me or any true Texan fan (I'm only speaking for myself, but I really believe I'm being as objective as possible here, please correct me if I'm wrong).
As to why I believe all of this is a great thing for the 2009 Texans. I firmly believe that if we EVER had a chance to make the playoffs, THIS is the year. First and foremost, we have so many key players playing for their next contract. Among them are Dunta, Demeco, OD, Kevin Walter, and (sigh) Travis Johnson. Now I am firmly entrenched in my opinion that nothing motivates football players to perform at their highest possible level than the thought of money. All of these guys need to perform NOW, or they will not receive the compensation that they believe (right or wrong) they deserve. They have one season to show Rick Smith and the rest of the NFL that they are worthy of the extremely big dollar contracts, and it is for this reason that I believe that Texans fans will see the absolute best effort out of these players.
Second, if we have a good draft we will have never had this much talent on the team. Consider it, we have the chance to plug just about every hole on this team with this draft, a position we have never found ourselves in. If Smith and Kubiak do this draft right (and I have all the faith in the world that they will) then for the first time in our history we will have at least 1 decent/good player at every position. That is more than enough to get a team into the playoffs with good coaching and a little luck.
To conclude, I could honestly care less about how "upset" Dunta is, but I can really feel for Demeco and OD. My prediction? Dunta will play his heart out and someone will overpay for him after we make the playoffs. Demeco, OD, and Kevin Walter will get the contracts that they deserve during or after this season. Either way, I must reiterate, THIS is the season to get to the playoffs. I really feel that if it doesn't happen this season (and I hope I don't jinx it by even bringing it up), Kubes will be gone and it will be a number of years more until this great city can taste football glory.