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2017 Houston Texans Free Agency: What To Do if John Simon Walks Away

Examining some names to keep in mind if the Texans lose their outside linebacker to free agency.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Houston Texans Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans outside linebacker John Simon really rose to the occasion in 2016 and as such, other teams are taking notice. While that might seem like a good thing, Simon is coming up on free agency, which means he’s free to leave for what may perceived as greener pastures.

With so many roster spots needing attention, from A.J. Bouye and DeAndre Hopkins to the entire right side of the offensive line, Simon might become the odd man out in the latest edition of Texans’ musical chairs.

Staying and playing for defensive wizard Romeo Crennel will certainly have its allure, but at the end of the day Simon plays football to pay the bills, and some other team may offer to help pay those bills in a manner that exceeds what Houston general manager Rick Smith can afford.

Should that happen, Bleacher Report has compiled a list of the top prospects at the outside linebacker position in the 3-4 defense.

BR Lead Scout Doug Farrar gives his take on Simon:

Simon is a plus player for any team that runs hybrid fronts, especially two-down-linemen fronts, because he's so good against the run with his hand off the ground. It's a rare talent, and when you add his pass-rush skills to the equation, Simon should be a highly prized player on the free-agent market. He's not a big name among fans, but you'd better believe coaches and coordinators know how good he is.

Potential Suitors: Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills

Farrar also lists Alex Okafor and Trent Cole as possible replacements. There’s also a chance guys like Brennan Scarlett and Eric Lee can rise up to fill the hole left by Simon - but it won’t be easy.

What do you think? If the unspeakable happens and Simon does walk away from H-Town, how do you think Houston should address the gap left by his absence?

Let us know in the comments below.