The first day of free agency was the kind of event that makes me not remember the world before Twitter. Scrolling through all the rumor, reports and reactions until my phone battery went red was a joy to behold. But there was certainly some sadness for Texans fans as well.
Goodbye, Kevin Walter
Most people are excited about the release of Kevin Walter, and for good reason. He is slowing down, and is not the answer to the Texans' problems at the second WR position. But it is also a time for remembrance. We'll always have the Yates game.
TJ Yates Game-Winning Drive (via SpankyMcShif)
Say what you will about the guy, but his touchdown catch in Cincinnati will forever bring a smile to our faces, even when we're old and gray.
And of course, it was the only game I've missed since 2008. I was on a business trip overseas at the time, and had a meeting that I could not miss. So I did what any rational person would do, and emailed pretty much every single person I knew.
Subject line: NO ONE EMAIL ME ABOUT THE TEXANS-BENGALS GAME THIS WEEK, PLEASE.
The plan was to shun all sports websites and Facebook for the four days remaining on the trip, fly home, go straight to the living room, and watch it on DVR. No one gave me a chance in hell of being able to pull it off.
Less than five minutes after Walter scored that touchdown, my (female) boss emailed me.
Subject line: beautiful game.
When DVR'ing, never assume that just because she's a girl, she won't ruin the score for you.
Casey Flies the Coop
No one saw three years, $14.5 million with $6 million guaranteed coming James Casey's way. But when it came from Philadelphia, it came fast, and without the offer to sleep on it. The Eagles reportedly did not want Casey to even visit any other teams. The Rice graduate was smart enough to realize that he held a unique value in Chip Kelly's offensive vision that he would not hold elsewhere in the free agent market. He signed on the dotted line.
It is only a matter of time until Casey is on "Dancing with the Stars" at this point.
Can anyone think of the last time a Houston athlete left in free agency to such a resoundingly positive chorus from the fans? This is both a testament to what a solid person Thor is perceived to be, and a natural reaction to the assumption that the Eagles overpaid. Goodbye, James Casey. I will miss screaming, "James-Casey-Rice-Graduate!" in one word at the TV when you make plays like this:
James Casey makes a Diving Catch for a Touchdown (via Austin Nordeen)
Four Leaf Glover Watch: "Where da Gold at?"
The Texans came into $2.5 million in additional cap space by cutting Kevin Walter. If Smithiak is serious about resigning Quin, the extra cushion that $2.5 million provides will be of great help in the efforts to lure him back. Quin wants to know where da gold at, quite frankly.
Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama (via botmib)
If you believe the word on Daniel Jeremiah's street, the free agent safety wants about $5 million worth of gold per year.
I'm hearing Glover Quin is looking for about $5 mil per year. #FreeAgency— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 13, 2013
Ironically, that figure happens to also be the high end of the annual salary range Texans free agent nickel cornerback Brice McCain is seeking, according to his agent David Canter.
So ironic I got randomly selected to take drug test an hr before free agency starts!!!— Glover Quin Jr (@GloverQuin29) March 12, 2013
I don't think that's actually the correct usage of the word "ironic." But I know Glover doesn't know how to use it, either. Which is ironic. I think.
Not much noise regarding the interest in my boy Connor Barwin so far. The interest is there, though, and it's surprising that his name did not come up more often on Day 1. Barwin's Baltimore counterpart Paul Kruger signed a fat deal with Cleveland on Tuesday, and it's likely that teams in search of a second tier outside linebacker to play the 3-4 will come calling shortly.
I'm trying to keep a positive mental attitude on this. The second Barwin resigns with the Texans, I'm going to start planning the #BarwinHouseParty marketing campaign, designed to convince him to still be my friend despite the miraculous Virginia win over Duke two weeks ago.
Connor, come on, man. Virginia may not even make the Tournament this year. If we win our first ACC Tournament game on Friday, we're basically in. If we lose, we're probably out. Either way, cut me some slack. Let's go ride bikes and day drink on your off day from working out or something. I'll buy.
Wait, What? Why?
I just know that Samuel won with this reply:
@mcclain_on_nfl Good job your lower body half can't be seen!— Samuel J Rosenberg (@SamuelJR91) March 12, 2013
Around the NFL
- Not only did Cleveland sign Kruger, but also Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant. Could it be that the Browns may soon be good at football? Kevin Costner has all but preordained the outcome, trying to replicate the model used by the producers of the "Major League" movies, which catapulted another Cleveland franchise to dominance in the 90's.
- Chase Daniel has a great new job. It's certainly better than Alex Smith's new job. Being a backup quarterback on a terrible NFL team is much preferable to being the starter, especially when you're getting paid up to $10 million over the next three years just to stand on the sidelines wearing your hat backwards like a 281er circa 1999. No matter what goes down in K.C. between now and the end of the 2015 season, Daniel gets $5 million guaranteed. An NFL pension without the brain damage? Yes, please. By the way, for some reason this is the definition of Chase Daniel's name on Urban Dictionary: "Booger eater. One who eats one's own boogers from one's nose while sitting on the sideline at a football game."
- If you're a Ravens fan right now, how glad are you you won the Super Bowl instead of lost the Super Bowl? The team is being dismantled defensively, with Boldin being a key contributor on the offensive side of the ball to have departed. Baltimore went all in on Dannell Ellerbe, but couldn't match the five year, $35 million offer the former undrafted free agent got from Miami.
- Good thing Smithiak went after Johnathan Joseph instead. Later, Nnamdi.
- Could Michael Huff be a candidate to replace Glover Quin at safety? The former UT standout was one of three Al Davis holdovers cut by the Raiders Tuesday. This purge of three particularly unwise contracts will save Oakland just over $8 million in cap space, but will also leave the organization with over $15 million in dead money from these three deals alone. Huff just turned 30, has never lived up to the hype that followed him from Texas to the pros, and is a clear downgrade from Quin when it comes to their respective advanced stats (Huff and Quin). But honestly, I don't really understand advanced stats. I just like Michael Huff because he bought my breakfast one morning at a restaurant in Austin. In fact, he bought the breakfast of every single person at the place, a Mexican joint called Juan in a Million. When the cashier informed us of who was responsible for our food being comped, I spotted him in the corner and chunked up the horns. He chunked the horns right back. Michael Huff is my boy, even when he's doing things like this to us:
Wk 5 Can't-Miss Play: Emotional finish (via OAKRaiders702)
As always, I leave you with a Texans Instagram moment. The caption Antonio Smith put on this self-portrait reads, "Bored time to go get on my tractor."