The Houston Texans entered free agency with a bunch of money and a bunch of offensive line needs. They sat on their dollars and watched as Trent Brown and Ja’Wuan James were given obscene amounts of dollars to go to Oakland and Denver, respectively. This was the right decision. I admired the decision. Overpaying for mediocre players is how teams stifle their performance and obliterate their cap space.
Yet the Texans still need competition at the tackle position at a bare minimum. If a plug and play starter couldn’t be found on a contract that made sense, they’d have to search under rocks to find someone. Anyone. Houston’s tackles were Juli’en Davenport and Seantrel Henderson a day ago.
Then yesterday went flying by amd the Texans signed 29 year old Matt Kalil to a one-year contract. Kalil missed all of last season with a knee injury. The Panthers signed him to a five-year, $55 million contract after his rookie contract ended with the Vikings. In Carolina, the Panthers were stuck doing the same things the Texans did last season with cheap tackles; they were chipping, sliding, and helping Kalil and Mike Remmers in pass protection to make up for Kalil’s weak hands and Remmers’s slow feet. This is exactly what you can’t do when you pay a tackle $11 million a year.
Kalil should provide competition at left tackle competition. But he hasn’t been good since his rookie year, and at this point, isn’t even as good as ‘I know I’m starting at left tackle’ Juli’en Davenport. With Kalil, Davenport, and Henderson on the roster, look for Houston to draft a tackle in the first or second round of the 2019 NFL Draft and then watch these four tear each other apart for September playing time.