The Free Agent Frenzy has calmed, but there are still a lot of names out there that could be a great help to the Houston Texans. Any of these names could fly off the board at any moment, so let’s get right to who the BRB staff feels like would be the best remaining gets for the Texans.
Tyrann Mathieu - I know this is everyone’s pick. Every team and fan in the NFL wants to land the guy. He’s not what he was earlier in his career, but it’s still early in his career! Mathieu is only 25. He played a full season in 2017, and despite having lost a step due to injury, the guy is a flat-out playmaker. Pair him up with a legendary defensive coordinator in Romeo Crennel, an improved pass rush, in a city not too far from his home, and I think it’s a perfect match. The Texans have the cap space to overpay - which you will have to - but for me, this is free agent worth the overpay. The Texans can front-load the deal to give them flexibility if Mathieu gets hurt again or suddenly loses “it”. I can’t say I’ll be upset at the Texans if they don’t land Honey Badger because the competition is sure to be stiff, but if they aren’t in it right until the end, they’re nuts.
Titan Matt Weston, Slanderer of “Blade Runner” and a Huge Fan of the Texas Rangers:
Cameron Fleming. Last I checked, the Texans signed two guards and an offensive tackle that didn’t play in 2016. Fleming was the Patriots’ right tackle for the majority of the 2017 season and during their postseason run. He’s a big, strong guy who can mash with players like Calias Campbell in pass protection. He’s a little slow, but the Patriots have taught him to drop-step in the post to gain ground against quicker rushers looking to extend their rush. His punch his strong. He extends. In the run game, it’s hard to say what he’s capable of. Schematically, New England’s tackles just made individual blocks on the edge, and the real blocking was left to pullers, Mike Develin, and the interior. For $7 million a year or so, Fleming would be worth it.
Kyle Fuller. Houston still has enough space to get an elite free agent. Fuller only has finished his rookie contract. He creates turnovers and was very good last year. The Texans’ pass defense can’t relay on the health of its pass rushers. If they go into next season with Aaron Colvin and the rest of that rotten bunch, the secondary is going to be bad again.
Sheldon Richardson. Putting a three-down DE like Richardson next to D.J. Reader and J.J. Watt would bump up a defense that’s lacking on the back-end. Plus, I’ve been fantasizing about him for a couple years playing opposite Watt.
Eric Ebron. Do I trust his talent and production right now? Hell, no.
TE is one of the longer developing positions within the NFL, with many TEs not coming into their own until later in their careers. For the Texans, the position has been lethargic and quite dull since Owen Daniels left. If nothing else, Ebron offers something the Texans have never had before at the position: A fast guy who drops the ball.
In the secondary, since it does not look like we can sign any of our top prospects, I would like to see Houston add Kenny Vaccaro at safety. He probably would be less expensive than iTyrann Mathieu. Vaccaro has missed some games the past two seasons and has been replaced by younger players, but I think he would fit the Texans well. I would also like to see Kyle Fuller signed. It seems likely the Texans are zeroing in on E.J. Gaines from Buffalo, which would push Kareem Jackson off the roster or to safety.
I would also like to bring in a TE to replace C.J. Fiedorowicz. Ebron would be an interesting addition, and he would instantly bring a versatile skill set to our TE group. More fitting of O’Brien’s style of TE, I could see the Texans adding Ed Dickson or Zach Miller.
From an offensive line standpoint, we technically still need a tackle. I think Seantrel Henderson is a backup plan and will most likely rotate with Julien Davenport in some form or fashion. I am interested in adding Cameron Fleming. A lot of contrasting opinions about him, but I think he can bring a level of talent at the OT position that we do not have. Fleming is from Houston and may be interested in returning home. He is mostly a RT kind of guy, but got experience playing LT when Nate Solder was injured.
A tight end - at this point, any tight end who has proven to be starter quality will do. If not, then go ahead and bring in Adrian Peterson and slam him into the A-Gap until he breaks.
Tyrann Mathieu - I’m all about Mathieu. Having a solid safety has been a need since the Oilers left town. Bringing in the Honey Badger would go a long way to shoring up the secondary, keeping opposing offenses on their toes and allowing Watt/Clowney/Mercilus enough extra heartbeats to smother the quarterback on an even more regular basis.
Brock Osweiler*. The Texans need a backup QB, and Brock really, really wants to be good.
*This response may be sponsored by HEB.
Your thoughts, BRB? What about Earl Thomas? Not a free agent of course, but the Seahawks are reportedly shopping him for a first and a third round pick, which the Texans cannot compete with unless they’d consider giving up next year’s first-rounder. I’m sure Seattle won’t get that for Thomas, who’s 29, has had recent injuries, and has already openly contemplated retirement. Still - if you have a chance to grab Thomas and don’t have to give up a ton of draft capital, I’d be all for it.
Feel free to weigh in below and keep checking back for the latest free agent updates!
(Sign Tyrann Mathieu).
UPDATE: The Texans have signed Tyrann Mathieu to a one-year deal. Did this post have anything to do with Mathieu coming to Houston? There’s no way to know.
But yes. Yes, it absolutely did. You’re welcome.