With roster cuts already started by all 32 NFL teams and the nail-biting over the condition of the Houston Texans' offensive line in full force, it seemed logical to take a look and see if any other team was casting off a lineman the Texans could use to patch a hole in their porous, injury-riddled o-line. While all-world left tackle Duane Brown and solid starting right tackle Derek Newton should return soon, the lack of quality play at center and guard could quickly become an Achilles' heel.
Taking a look at the long list of players now out of a job, it's easy to get optimistic that there’s someone who could strap on the Battle Red gear and help defend Houston’s $17 million dollar man, quarterback Brock Osweiler. But, unless offensive line coach Mike Devlin is donning the "Lineman Whisperer" hat, the pickings are slim.
That doesn’t mean there’s no hope in this list. After doing some internet digging, some promise of potential did rise to the surface. But let’s face it, if the player was Pro Bowl caliber, he'd still be on the team that just cut him.
Let’s take a look at who’s out there as of 9 a.m. this morning.
Martin Wallace, Tackle – Cut by the Chicago Bears. Never started. Second year out of Temple. Wallace is a perennial practice squad guy who’s probably at the end of the line.
John Kling, OL – UDFA who failed to survive the first cuts from the Bears. Will probably catch on with a team looking for practice squad guys due to his massive size and youth.
*Michael Huey, Guard – 27 year old Texas native and UT grad who can’t seem to stick in the NFL but has had success in the Arena League (played for Arizona Rattlers on two Arena League Championship teams). Might catch the eye of the Texans due to his lone star ties.
Cory Tucker, Guard – UDFA who failed to survive Browns' first cuts. If you can’t help the Browns, you can’t help Houston.
Curtis Feigt, OT – 26 years old and has no meaningful pro stats so far.
Jesse Davis, OT – cut by Jets in his second year. Probably headed for someone’s practice squad.
Andrew Gardner, Guard – spent most of his career bouncing around the practice squad scene. Texans fans will remember him from his days in Houston (2011-2013). Can’t imagine he’ll be coming back.
*Blake Muir, Guard – Australian-born Baylor grad. He was on the 49ers when the Texans had joint practices and their first preseason game this year.
*Erik Pears, OT – 34-year old vet is a little long in the tooth, but was also on the Niners when the Texans shared practice and preseason game one.
Ian Silberman, Guard – second year player also cut by the 49ers.
Taylor Fallin, OT – UDFA who was cut by Tampa.
*Will Campbell, OT – Voted best high school player in the state of Michigan during his pre-collegiate days. Played college in Michigan. Drafted by and ultimately cut by the Jets. Seems to have motivational issues and has a history of struggling with weight and condition. Great potential, but it may take the perfect situation for Campbell to live up to it. Just cut by Tennessee, so might be worth mining for information on a division rival.
Nick Ritcher, OL – unable to find much on him, which literally makes him un-noteworthy.
Al Bond, OL – not much on him either, other than some average NFL Combine video.
Cody Booth, OL – another non-newsworthy entry into the list.
The other options, assuming Rick Smith doesn’t want to stand pat with this unit, is to either trade a player from a loaded position group (Cecil Shorts III, Brandon Weeden or Alfred Blue packaged with a draft pick or two) or wait for the next round of cuts. If this were Madden football and not reality, trading Brandon Weeden back to the Cowboys for one of their interior lineman would make total sense. In reality, that’s just not going to happen.
While the offensive line didn’t look totally abysmal yesterday against the Cardinals, if they have the same patchwork line against a team with a great front seven, Brock Osweiler may not make it off the field alive.
Too bad Chris Myers couldn’t get an IV from the fountain of youth, right?
Any ideas? Crazy trade proposals? Ways you’ve arm-chaired from the ether to help the Texans' OL? Let us know in the comments below.
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