It’s NFL Conference Championship week, and I haven’t given a speck of thought to the Houston Texans’ upcoming offseason. There will be months of it. Nine, in fact, until the Texans play another game. There will be all of February to talk talk about free agency, and March will be split between both free agency the upcoming draft, with April full of draft talk. All that will be here soon. What we have right now is finite. Three more games, soon to disappear altogether entirely.
Loyal reader, I wanted to take a second from my monomaniacal pursuit to summarize the resources available to the Texans this offseason for everyone who is in that mode. For those who have already moved forward to 2019.
As of right now, the Texans have $67,097,417.00 in cap space. This is the sixth most in the league. They’ll be paying $1,769,452 in dead money to Jeff Allen, Braxton Miller, Tyler Ervin, and Treston Decoud. Remember them? This number is also before potential cuts. Houston can save $14 million if they cut Demaryius Thomas, $9,069,000 if they cut Kevin Johnson, $6,203,125 if they cut Lamar Miller, $2,687,500 if they cut Ryan Griffin, and dare I say it, $13 million if they cut J.J. Watt. Whitney Mercilus is also a possible trade piece; Houston would save $6,250,000 if they cut ties with Mercilus. $67 million is a lot of money, especially for a playoff team to have at their disposal. The joys of having a quarterback on a rookie contract.
The Texans have fifteen unrestricted free agents, three restricted free agents, and one exclusive rights free agent. That’s a long list. Rather than waste paper, here’s the list of free agents Houston has via Over The Cap.
In addition to the $67 million in cap space, players they can release to create more room, and the 17 free agents they have this offseason, the Texans have draft picks. They finally have their first and second round picks again after the [NAME REDACTED] trade zapped a second rounder; their 2018 first rounder was lost in moving up to select Deshaun Watson. By trading second team All-Pro tackle Duane Brown in 2017, the Texans gained a second rounder in the 2019 NFL Draft. Houston will select 23rd overall in the first round, and then have back-to-back second round picks with the 54th and 55th overall selections before moving on to their third, fifth, sixth and seventh round selections as well. The fourth rounder is now Denver’s via the acquisition of Demaryius Thomas back in October.
These are the resources Brian Gaine has to work with this spring. Keep this in mind as you scour upcoming free agents and stroll through cyberspace on the backs of Mock Draft camels.
Now, back to the 2019 NFL Playoffs.