This off-season just can’t end fast enough for the Houston front office. Even though most of you had read this stuff ad nauseam, let’s recap for those who haven’t been watching this train wreck of a spring and summer.
Houston enters the off-season with a treasure chest of cap space (as of this writing they’re still sitting on nearly $40 million in space) desperately needing to bolster the offensive line and secondary. They could also use help at running back and defensive line.
Top free agent lineman Darryl Williams and Trent Brown land with other teams. Rodger Saffold, a player Houston should have had number one on their FA needs list, landed with the division rival Tennessee Titans.
Tyrann Mathieu bolted for Kansas City. Ok, maybe this is a bright spot...
Oh, and they never even came close to locking down Jadeveon Clowney, who has yet to sign his franchise tender, although rumors are he will report for game three of the preseason.
Houston brings in Tashaun Gipson to replace Mathieu, arguably their lone bright spot to the 2019 free agency period - but we won’t know for sure until the season ends.
Then Texans general manager Brian Gaine instead turns in a card for a player many suspected wouldn’t go until the 2nd or third round in “project” tackle Tytus Howard.
Then, the real smoke started pouring from the listing ship that is the H-Town Football Texans: GM-gate.
Are you missing Rick Smith yet?
Houston fired Brian Gaine, made a play for New England Patriots’ director of player personnel Nick Caserio, got pants’ed for their efforts and announced in typical “I meant to do that” fashion that they would use a flat management system in place of a general manager this year.
All along, the company line out of NRG was Houston didn’t need to do anything with their running back corps, because A) Lamar Miller is a great back and B) D’Onta Foreman was making miraculous progress and everyone was extremely pleased with his progress.
Then, this happened:
Reports from training camp refuted the company line stories of how amazing Foreman was doing, including fumbles and ineffective running - we won’t blame that on the patchwork, second string laden offensive line, at least not yet.
You know, anytime you get injured your rookie year I think that’s hard. He tore the Achilles and that’s a tough rehab for a young player, a running back especially and there were some ups-and-downs with the rehab… He’s a good football player, he takes a lot of pride in what he’s doing, I know he’s working right now. Next year’s a big year for him and I think he knows that.
Suddenly, Foreman was needing to “mature”, had poor work ethic and found himself unemployed on the waiver wire quicker than he ever hit a hole behind Houston’s porous o-line.
Texans placed RB D’Onta Foreman on waivers, as @McClain_on_NFL reported. Houston feels like Foreman needs a fresh start and needs to grow up.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 4, 2019
And, now, a player who spent his entire pro career learning the complexities of Bill O’Brien’s offense has signed with Houston’s #1 rival and biggest obstacle to the 2019 season, the Indianapolis Colts.
The whole D’Onta Foreman scenario smacks of incompetence.
Either the coaching staff’s ability to evaluate talent is sorely lacking, or Brian Gaine failed big time in bringing in an insurance policy and Bill O’Brien made a terribly poor knee jerk reaction in waving Foreman.
Neither option is anything more than yet another black mark on the 2019 off-season.
While many wanted former general manager Rick Smith removed long before he stepped down, there’s no way he would have presided over an off-season as train-wreck-ey as this one.
From players like Sage Rosenfels and Matt Schaub to KeShawn Martin and [NAME REDACTED] Houston, especially under Rick Smith, always seemed to find a way to get something for an asset they were giving up.
Why not trade Foreman? Houston could have controlled where he went, assuring he didn’t take his knowledge of their playbook, calls, etc to the team’s biggest rival, and received something, anything, in return. Even if all they got was a 2021 7th round pick, surely some other team who needs running back help would have been open to taking Foreman off Houston’s hands.
Instead, in what seems like a temper tantrum motivated move, Houston took an asset they invested in heavily and threw it away.
The clear inability to manage the Texans roster has been on display all year and sadly, this is just the latest shot from a gun that still has plenty of ammunition to unload into Toro’s feet.
With the Houston Rockets and Houston Astros showing some of the most savvy, intelligent front office work in pro sports, at what point does the Texans fanbase get fed up with the action-evidenced-incompetence coming out of NRG?
This team is so close to being great - legitimately the best team in Houston football history. With future NFL Hall of Fame players like J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, the embarrassment of riches the Texans had coming into the offseason in cap space and draft capital, there’s no reason why 2019 couldn’t have been the year that H-Town got it’s first NFL Championship.
However, there’s only so many bad decisions any organization can overcome and this year has seen more from the Texans brass than any other year in team history.
Which of these bad decisions has irked you the most? Was it the mismanagement of free agency? The poor draft? The “here, hold my beer” approach to the general manager problem? The constant need to try and fail to be the New England Patriots? Letting Kareem Jackson walk? Failing to shore up the offensive line? Failure to bolster the running back corps and defensive line? Leaving Clowney in the wind?
Or, are you content to drink the Battle Red Kool Aid, hoping against hope that somehow this docu-drama of how not to run an offseason will bear miraculous fruit come January?
Give us your thoughts in the comments box.