The Texans bucked their traditional free agency protocol, but just barely, by reportedly coming to terms with ex-Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph. Joseph still wasn't the best player available at his position, but that was more because of the greatness of Nnamdi Asomugha than any actual slight against him.
Yes Virginia, your Houston Texans have signed one of the best free agents available, and it's the one that totally fits the Rick Smith protocol: young enough to still be a good long-term investment. There will be time to worry about Joseph's inability to stay on the field for 16 games a year later, for now, celebrate the fact that the Texans front office has finally put their money where their mouth is with regards to fielding a competitive team. This is a premium talent at a position of need, and one that could very well put Houston into competition with Indianapolis for the AFC South crown.
We're still waiting on the terms, but expect it to be a doozy. This should cement Glover Quin at one safety spot, with Kareem Jackson opposite Joseph and the strong safety yet to be determined.
Edit: Per John McClain, Joseph's deal is for five years, pays him $48.75 million, and Joseph will be guaranteed $23.5 million. $12.5 million of that will be a signing bonus.