Day two of a wild NFL free agency tampering period has come and gone, with all sorts of players striking gold in them thar hills, GMs pulling off crazy trades and a handful of teams appearing to radically improve their chances of Super Bowl glory.
But, none of that is happening in H-Town.
Houston’s front office hasn’t made any knee-jerk reactions or overpaid any shiny-bauble free agents. Historically, it’s not very often that a team makes several huge splash signings in free agency and dramatically improves that year. Look no further than the Jacksonville Jaguars recent attempts to buy their way to a championship for proof that spent cap cash is no guarantee of NFL crowns. So, when teams like the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and others start signing checks for PowerBall payouts to individual players with no certain ROI, we can be thankful that Cal McNair’s name isn’t in the bottom right of any of those paychecks.
Pulling in Tashaun Gipson on a very cap friendly deal might prove to be a great move. Gipson is also very excited to be reunited with fellow ex-Jag Aaron Colvin. Time will tell, but he’s a starter and should fit well in the rotation with future Pro Bowler Justin Reid and stalwart Andre Hal. Now if Houston can bring in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, life will greatly improve.
Houston’s front office hasn’t made any needed reactions or
overpaid any shiny-bauble free agents. Ju’Wuan James, Roger Saffold and Matt Paradis all would have been welcome upgrades for the worst offensive line in the league, but all have signed elsewhere, including Saffold going to the Titans... While “build through the draft” is a great plan, when you don’t get to pick until late in the round your chances of landing a blue chip offensive tackle drop dramatically. Signing at least one of these starters would have been smart... but alas, as one Texans fan said “this is why we can’t have nice things...”
If the idea is to stand pat with the existing starters, hoping they magically become average or above in 2019, Deshaun Watson won’t make it 16 games.
The (Bradley) Roby:
Not quite sure if essentially trading Roby for Kareem Jackson was a smart move. On a team where the world “multiple” is thrown around so often, losing a player that knows the scheme well and can perform the Swiss army moves defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel requires of his players and replacing him with one whose career has flashes of brilliance mired in moments of mediocrity doesn’t jump out as the smartest thing to do.
But, like Gipson, Roby has a nose for the ball, a killer instinct and needed a change of scenery.
Jadeveon Clowney has to be standing in line at the bank waiting for it to open. With Dee Ford and Trey Flowers both blasting through the salary ceiling, Clowney’s worth just jumped dramatically.
With the Trey Flowers' 5-yr, $90M ($56.6 M guaranteed) signing, the odds of Jadeveon Clowney sitting out have to have gone way up.— John P. Lopez (@LopezOnSports) March 12, 2019
Last 3 years:
Clowney (26) -- 119 tkls, 53 TFLs, 4 FF, 59 QB hits, 24.5 sacks.
Flowers (26) --- 100 tkls, 25 TFLs, 5 FF, 58 QB hits, 21.0 sacks.
Who’s left for Houston to target?
As of 4am this morning, Earl Thomas, Justin Houston, Tevin Coleman, Ronald Darby, Daryl Williams, Jared Cook, Golden Tate, Bryce Callahan, Mark “A-Gap” Ingram, Tyrell Williams, Pierre Desir, Darqueze Dennard, Morris Claiborne, Jason Verrett, Malcom Brown, C.J. Anderson, D.J. Fluker and T.J. “Alfred Blue Upgrade” Yeldon are still on the table, seeking new teams. Surely Houston can grab one or more of these Top 100 guys and improve the roster.
But, only time will tell.
Happy with Houston’s progress so far? Have a shopping list you still want to see fulfilled? Share your Good, Bad and Uncertain list with us in the comments section.