Heading into 2015, most Houston Texans fans were left with a relatively good feeling about the 2014 season as the new coaching staff under Bill O'Brien delivered a better-than-expected 9-7 record. Heading into free agency, there were some obvious areas on the roster needing improvement either through free agency or the NFL Draft. Combine that with the need to retain certain Texans players, and the stage was set for a very busy couple of weeks for Houston's front office.
Notwithstanding the emotional attachment, the prudent decisions to release Andre Johnson and Chris Myers helped create enough cap space to leverage the following signings for Houston:
Texans Players Retained With New Contracts:
NFL Free Agents Signed by Houston:
Cecil Shorts III
These combined lists of players signed by Houston has the potential to make the best free agency impact in franchise history. The NFL increased the salary cap for 2015 to $143.28 million, which is about $10 million more than 2014. That alone would not have enabled the Texans to complete contracts for all of the players listed above. It was financially necessary to cut Myers and Johnson, and to trade Ryan Fitzpatrick and Case Keenum, in order to free up the necessary resources and roster positions to fuel these new contracts.
There will obviously be more transactions between now and the announcement of the final 53 players prior to the start of the 2015 season, but this is likely the most substantial collection of signings for the year.
Which of these players who were signed was the most unexpected to you?