From Bucky Brooks of SI.com:
"The lack of franchise-caliber offensive tackles on the free agency market will lead to hefty paydays for Travelle Wharton, Shane Locklear and Stacey Andrews. Although none of the three have ever earned a Pro Bowl nomination, Wharton, Locklear and Andrews possess the athleticism and potential to command big bucks on the open market. Wharton, who has 44 career starts at left and right tackle, is ranked as the top available tackle prospect and will sign a contract that will average $6 to $7 million a year. Meanwhile, Locklear and Andrews are likely looking at contracts that will surpass the five-year, $25 million deal that Langston Walker inked with the Bills last season."
According to Brooks then, the Texans would have to be prepared to pony up approximately $6,000,000.00 per year on a five to six year deal to snag any of the top LT free agents. Of course, NFL contracts are hardly worth the paper they're written on; typically, the only real guaranteed money comes via the signing bonus. Nevertheless and assuming Brooks' assessment of the market is correct, are you willing to pay Wharton, Locklear, Andrews, or someone else the going rate? Or is the price of poker too high, thus meaning you turn your attention to grabbing a tackle in the draft and banking on Ephraim Salaam holding down the fort until the newbie takes over?