I didn't write this to rip on the front office, but it starts to take a negative tone towards the end. I suppose that's unavoidable when the team loses 14 games in a row. Enjoy and please leave your thoughts in the Comments.
Connor Barwin - OLB
The semi-eccentric outside linebacker left Houston for a big pay day despite struggling in his final year with the Texans. With the Eagles, Barwin finished the 2013 season with 59 tackles, five sacks, a forced fumble and even an interception. Most likely, Barwin played a variety of roles while fellow OLB Trent Cole focused on rushing the passer. This is certainly consistent with what we remember of his abilities.
Barwin reunited with former Texan DeMeco Ryans, giving some stability to a defense that has long been labeled as "soft." While the 2013 Eagles gave up a ton of yards--due to their staunch refusal to care about time of possession-- Barwin and Ryans helped the Eagles cut their points per game allowed to 23.9, good for 17th in the league. Last year, they gave up less yards, but 27.8 points per game, good for 29th.
The 27-year-old linebacker accounted for just $1.3 million off the cap this year but is set to make $4.9 and $6.1 million the next two years, respectively. The rest of his six-year, $36 million contract is likely up for restructure or outright termination after that. NFL contracts are written on toilet paper after all.
James Casey - TE
Remember how we were all saddened by Casey's departure to join Chip Kelly's Eagles? He was projected to have a breakout year in that revolutionary offense, making us all sick about his misuse here in Houston. It never happened.
The University of Rice product caught just three passes for 33 yards and seldom saw more than 40% of the snaps at his position, according to Bleeding Green Nation (SBN's Eagles blog).
Even Casey noticed:
"It's been a little ironic. When I first came out of college - I had 111 catches one year - I was pretty much just strictly a receiver. Going into the NFL, everyone was questioning if I could block, and I think that hurt me in the draft.
Now I've been in the league, this is my fifth year, and I've transformed myself into a very good run blocker and pass protector. I still feel very confident that I can go out there and run routes and do those types of things, but I'm just cherishing my role being a blocker.
We have a great running back, a great run game, we have a great offensive line and Brent (Celek) and Zach (Ertz) are both great blockers, too. It's just my job responsibility right now, so I'm trying to do the best job I can at it so I can get more playing time."
According to Spotrac.com, Casey's cap hit will not balloon like Barwin's. His $12 million contract is split evenly through three years. No doubt the Swiss Army Knife will stay sharp and continue playing wherever he's asked.
Donnie Jones - P
|2013 - Donnie Jones||16||82||3681||44.9||70||33||40.2||5|
|2013 - Shane Lechler||16||88||4189||47.6||65||34||38.6||7|
I don't want to split too many hairs on punting statistics, but these are the numbers for Jones and the Texans' current punter: Shane Lechler. Also, only 28 of Jones' kicks were returned, compared to 43 for Lechler. Fire Marciano?
The former is making $905,000.oo, and the latter is on the first year of a three-year, $5.5 million contract. *CRINGE*
Jeff Maehl - WR
Chip Kelly snagged his former Oregon Ducks wide receiver and mostly relegated him to the bench. Maehl did catch four passes on nine targets for 67 yards and a score.
Glover Quin - S
With their eyes on Ed Reed the whole time, the Texans' front office seemingly spurned Quin without even so much as a contract offer. The Detroit Lions were happy to snatch him up with a five-year, $23.5 million contract. Here's what he did in year one:
|2013 - __________||7||0||0||0||0||0||14||2||16|
|2013 - Glover Quin||16||2||20||3||57||0||44||13||57|
Oh, and Quin also notched a forced fumble and a recovery. With any semblance of competence from his coaching staff, he, too, would be in the playoffs.
Above Quin's numbers I've added a Mystery Player for you guys to figure out. You'll never guess who it is!
Kevin Walter - WR
The poor sap signed with the Tennessee Titans, promptly suffered a back injury that required surgery and never played a snap-- all for a cool million dollars. Perhaps the 33-year-old took on the role of "player-coach" for the team's young crop of wide receivers.
Or maybe… just maybe Walter decided to end his career with one last act of sabotage on a team he surely must have grown to hate. Either way, good night, sweet prince.
That's it! Let us know what you think, as always. Who do you miss the most? The least? There are a few other former Texans that might be worth discussing (Quintin Demps, Alan Ball). Feel free to discuss them below. Happy Tuesday!