Last season the Texans had two different football teams. A team with Deshaun Watson starting at quarterback, and a team without Deshaun Watson starting at quarterback. The team with DW4 starting averaged 34.6 points a game. The team without him starting averaged 13 points a game. The team without him was led by Tom Savage, who was the worst quarterback in football aside not named DeShone Kizer and was somehow worse than [NAME REDACTED], and T.J. Yates, who I never want to see throw a football in Houston again. One of the important goals this offseason, behind addressing the offensive line and secondary, is finding a backup quarterback to improve the team when Watson isn’t available. Heaven forbid if something happens, this team can’t have another season lost because the backup offense can only score 13 points a game.
This offseason is going to be an edgy quarterback carousel. Instead of unicorns and mermaids impaled by golden rods, it’s going to be bloody clowns and rapid dogs carrying mashes of flesh in circles while Korn wails over the speakers. Franchise quarterbacks Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins are set to hit free agency. The always injured, but spectacular before the inevitable injury, Sam Bradford is available. Someone has to decide if they want to go all in on Case Keenum’s half-season reign of balloon tossing terror. The Bills may stupidly cut Tyrod Taylor to save $10 million in cap space. Someone is going to fall in love with A.J. McCarron and all his bad tattoos. A Super Bowl MVP is available in a trade.
Below this line of starting quarterbacks there is an enormous batch of secondary players to be squabbled over. Jacksonville, Houston, Kansas City, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Miami, Minnesota, Chicago once they release Mike Glennon, New Orleans, and Arizona all need a backup quarterback, and some need to find a starting quarterback before then. Baltimore and Cincinnati will probably join the Los Angeles (gross) Chargers, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, and New York Giants as teams who are in line to draft a quarterback. It’s going to be a raucous March before a crazy April.
With that in mind, the Texans could conceivably pick through the following guys:
Jay Cutler: HE STINKS. I HATE HIM. He should retire.
Matt Moore: Pretty good! He should have started for the Dolphins instead of CUTLA this year.
Chad Henne: Heh.
Drew Stanton: Can throw the ball pretty well downfield and struggles at doing everything else.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Dumpster-diving turnover machine. His favorite album is Peripheral Vision.
Ryan Mallett: Throw. Hard.
Scott Tolzien: Please stay in Indianapolis.
Teddy Bridgewater: Hopefully he gets a chance to start somewhere. He played well behind a bad offensive line in an offense catered to a washed-out Adrian Peterson. Then his leg exploded.
Geno Smith: If you look hard enough and remove the three disastrous decisions to make, there’s a good backup quarterback here.
Chase Daniel: The Sam Bradford of backup quarterbacks.
Blaine Gabbert: You gotta be proud of him. He went from being the worst rookie quarterback of all time to a whatever backup quarterback. Jack Del Rio delrailed the start of his career, and since then Gabbert has been able to carve a little niche for himself. Shout out to the only person named Blaine I’ve ever seen who doesn’t have an affinity for Magmars.
Austin Davis: Yeah, he still exists.
[NAME REDACTED]: Somehow he wasn’t the worst quarterback in football anymore. It’s amazing what Denver does to him. He was only like the 45th best quarterback last year. Progress.
T.J. Yates: So 2011.
E.J. Manuel: One of the worst throwers of the football I’ve ever seen.
Josh McCown: Had a great year by his standards last year. Great locker room guy. The vet needed to help out an early first round quarterback.
Tom Savage: Someone will sign him. We will see him start in another uniform. He will join that big pile of former Texans quarterback flotsam that somehow winds up on the field.
Mike Glennon: Terrible turnovers ended his time in Chicago before it really began. He’s going to be released. He can throw a nice deep ball.
Those are the expected guys. This is who Houston will have the opportunity go after. In a perfect world for the Texans, Taylor gets released and signs with Houston. That would give the Texans someone with the athleticism who can run the same offense as Watson, and they no longer are a dichotomous football team.
No one else could really replicate what Houston had going on when Watson was healthy. So if Taylor isn’t available, my pick would be to sign Matt Moore, and then select a quarterback in the middle to the late part of the 2018 NFL Draft. Moore is a fringe starter, has been underrated, and you never know what can happen to the quarterback position. It’s always best to have someone developing; if you don’t need him, you can always flip him for a pick or two to a needy team later.
Those are the computations my brain produced. What about you?