Not everything the Houston Texans did this offseason was horrendous. Just 95% of it. They made some decent decisions like not signing Tyrann Mathieu for $15 million a year, or franchise tagging Jadeveon Clowney, signing Angelo Blackson and Bradley Roby, and resigning Seantrel Henderson. So, I asked the masthead, what do you think was the best move the Texans made this offseason?
Cutting Ryan Griffin.
When’s the parade?
Seriously though, the roster has carried too much dead weight for too long. The failed mid-round draft picks of several years will take time to wash out, but moving forward without Ryan Griffin and Alfred Blue is an important milestone toward improvement. Churn that bottom 20-30% as fast as possible.
It’s a shame that my answer couldn’t be: “Extending Jadeveon Clowney with a new contract.” Because he’s way more important than guarding $40 million of cap space like it’s the last Oreo cookie aboard Tony Starks disabled ship somewhere deep in space.
Sorry to “me, too!” Ron, but me, too!
Shedding ourselves of Ryan Griffin and Alfred Blue, probably the two worst players in the NFL at their respective positions, is some serious addition by subtraction.
After the draft, why we cut Griffin was already exceedingly obvious, and it had nothing to do with his TKO with a hotel window. But the why before the draft was also clearly apparent: he was the third best TE on a roster with two rookies, and every pass thrown Griffin’s way was a waste of everyone’s time.
Then, there is Alfred Blue. Anybody who claimed that Blue was the best RB on the roster last year should never, ever have their football opinion be considered again. During his Texans career, he averaged 3.6 y/c, a number which would have ranked in the bottom nine in the NFL last year. Yet, Bill O’Brien saw fit to hand the ball off to Blue 673 times in his career.
Ultimately, it’s really neither Griffin’s or Blue’s fault they were Texans’ versions of David Eckstein, players getting far too much action for their actual production. No, it’s because somehow someway, BOB kept using them.
The best move? Yikes. There’s a ton of mediocrity out there to choose from, but the best thing we did was get rid of Kareem Jackson and Tyrann Mathieu. Although the fans loved them, they were terrible in coverage. The 28th ranked pass defense is purely not acceptable for a team with as high of hopes as the Texans have. The response and players added do not seem all too promising, but change was needed in the locker room. Leadership turns over, complacency cannot be tolerated, and a new competitive spark may be enough to get this secondary off the ground.
OK, lemme answer with an actual move unlike the rest of these grumps.
Signing Tashaun Gipson away from the release pool. Mathieu was not a good enough player to make $14 million a season. Gipson is, if not a perfect replacement, at least a good enough approximation of what Mathieu would bring. There are many holes the Texans left alone this offseason. Starting safety wasn’t one of them.
I’m not sold on this, but have to say the best thing I’ve seen is the appearance of an effort to radically improve the offensive line. Houston spent two of their top three picks on linemen, and while the jury is out as to whether those two will be any good any time soon, at least the Texans didn’t draft a wide receiver and punter or some other combination of players that didn’t address an immediate need. Maybe I’m being a little homer-ish here, but part of me is starting to believe Tytus Howard might be a great pick. Might. Yeah, grasping at straws here...
There are moves I like more, but since others have already hit them - I’ll go ahead and say I’m fully aboard the Kahale Warring hype train at tight end. The combo of Warring being drafted, the continued development of 2nd year TEs Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas, and the release of Ryan Griffin make this position group very intriguing to me. My hope is the year-two Jordans have a chip on their shoulder about the Texans drafting yet another TE this year, and it will make that position group hotly-contested. With those three young, promising TEs and a (hopefully healthy) Keke Coutee in the slot and a (hopefully healthy) Will Fuller V flying around, I actually have hopes this offense can take a huge step forward even if the offensive line is only nominally better.
Franchise tagging Jadeveon Clowney and not trading him was the best move the Texans made. Now they just need to fall in love again and sign him to an extension.