NFL free agency officially begins on Tuesday (March 10th), but teams and agents can legally chat about free agents beginning tomorrow (March 7th). That means that if players aren't signed to a team tomorrow, they're eligible to get woo flung at them. Of course, woo has likely been flung at these free-agents-to-be long before it was permissible to do so, but tomorrow the gloves can come off.
That reality should matter to Texans fans, as the organization has re-signed a whopping total of zero of the fifteen (15) players from their 2014 roster who will be free agents. If you were trying to decide which three (3) of those fifteen were considered to be of greatest import to re-sign by the fan base, you'd probably arrive at a trio of Ryan Mallett, Kareem Jackson, and Derek Newton in some order. Sadly, the latest reports appear to indicate that all three of those players will be available for other teams to recruit when the legal tampering period begins tomorrow.
At this point, it appears that #Texans CB Kareem Jackson will hit the free agent market. Will be among the more coveted defenders.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2015
RT Derek Newton is still attempting to reach a deal with #Texans but is set to enter free agency if an agreement can't be reached.— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) March 6, 2015
A failure to re-up by tomorrow in no way means these guys cannot be brought back into the fold. It does mean, however, that they may well hear pitches that include promises and offers of more money than the Texans are willing to make. To that end, the Texans may have decided to let certain players walk; they could have assigned a value that they know will be trumped by another team on the open market. If that's the case, so be it.
But what of Ryan Mallett, a guy Bill O'Brien has publicly expressed he wants back and who is believed to be a potential target of the QB needy and flush-with-cash New York Jets? Can the Texans afford to let him get away with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Savage as the only other QBs under contract for 2015?
Was this entire post a reason to publish the following tweet I received tonight in response to the latest edition of the #TTTQ?
I'm not gonna lie to you, BRB.
Kindly divulge your thoughts on these matters in the Comments below. We'll have a fresh open thread for the beginning of the legal tampering period tomorrow morning.