It’s no secret the Houston Texans need improvement in their secondary. Some would claim that position group is a close second in terms of their weak links, right behind the offensive line, when it comes to offseason triage.
Two free agent safeties would be great fits for the team as both safety positions are holes, especially if Tyrann Mathieu chooses to sport a new uniform next season.
Free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and strong safety Adrian Amos Jr. are two players the Texans should seek.
He has shown to be a workhorse. He has never missed a game and started each one he's played, minus six in his rookie season. Clinton-Dix has proven to be a reliable option at the position.
Despite his impressive play in pass coverage and his durability, signing Clinton-Dix would not be a huge financial hit for the Texans. Clinton-Dix was not a top 15 graded safety by Pro Football Focus last season and will not command the dollars that his peers will. Mathieu may end up costing more, and there is a valid case to be made that Clinton-Dix is currently the better player. He was, however, traded for a fourth round draft pick and is going to end up on his third team in two seasons.
The most likely scenario is that HCD signs a one-year deal and then seeks a new contract next offseason after he has reestablished his value
With everything mentioned about Clinton-Dix not being worth a big contract, more money will be needed to sign Adrian Amos Jr. However, he will not command nearly the same money as some of the other safeties in his class, such as Earl Thomas or Landon Collins.
The fourth-year strong safety is coming off the best season of his young career with the Chicago Bears. Signing Amos is the less likely than signing Clinton-Dix. It’s hard to imagine the Bears will not make a strong push to maintain a defense that finished first overall in points per game allowed and third overall in total yards allowed.
Amos Jr. was the 8th-highest graded safety by Pro Football Focus at 82.7. One might argue his performance was a result of Chicago’s ferocious front seven. Not to use Pro Football Focus as a default cop-out, but they have the Texans’ front seven ranked slightly ahead of the Bears. The Texans may present a similar situation for Amos to thrive in if he and the Bears do not come to an agreement.
The Texans have the finances to make either of these moves or both of them. They have the seventh most cap space in the league at just under $68.4 million. The free agent class for offensive linemen is not necessarily deep, and the Texans are better off seeking youth and athleticism in the secondary.
Either of these moves would allow the Texans to dial in on the offensive line via the 2019 NFL Draft. It might be a stretch, but the Texans should take the gamble on signing at least one of these safeties.