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Houston Texans Free Agency: Who Stays And Who Goes?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Since officially replacing the flat hydra management system a few weeks back, many might think Houston Texans head coach/general manager/Emperor of the Universe Bill O’Brien might live high on the hog for a little while, basking in the glory of one of the top 50 roles in all of professional sports (while the Texans aren’t the mecca of coaching, having HC & GM powers of any major league franchise is an elite role, regardless of what anyone might think or say to the contrary).

However, as the saying goes, heavy is the head that wears the crown. O’Brien is now the sole focal point for rebuilding a roster that lacks playoff talent in several positions and is devoid of solid depth at most others.

To make the job harder, several of his key players might not be around when mini camps begin in a few short months.

According to, the following players are unrestricted free agents for Houston:

Bradley Roby

Lamar Miller

Johnathan Joseph

Barkevious Mingo

Ka’imi Fairbairn

A.J. McCarron

Carlos Hyde

Brandon Dunn

Darren Fells

Jahleel Addae

Mike Adams

Joe Webb

Taiwan Jones

Jon Weeks

Chris Clark

Phillip Gaines

Tyrell Adams

D.J. Reader

Deandre Carter

Dylan Cole

Roderick Johnson

While Houston managed to lock down Whitney Mercilus, and need to back up the Brinks truck full of cash to Deshaun Watson’s house, then make another stop at the home of Laremy Tunsil, many of the guys on the above list were solid contributors to last year’s playoff run—guys you want to pay to stay.

In desperate need of pass protection, pass deflections and pass rejections, the Texans can’t afford to sleep on more offensive line help, defensive front seven help and a better cornerback or three (especially if the rumors are true that Bradley Roby will not be returning). has a long list of pending free agents from other teams, including guys like Brandon Scherff, Chris Jones, Shaq Lawson, Chris Harris, Melvin Gordon, A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Bryan Bulaga, Jack Conklin, Yannick Ngakoue, Logan Ryan, James Bradberry and... Jadeveon Clowney to name a few.

But to land any of those players, O’Brien has to lure them away from their current teams, out-bid other suitors and sell the player on life in H-Town. With no lack of high-profile players voicing their disgruntled-ness over their time in Houston with O’Brien’s Texans, it might be harder than expected.

One thing the Texans do have going for them is the easier tax burden in Texas over many other states with teams expected to go all-in on a free agent or 3. But, football is a game of passion, and often, players who make monetary driven business decisions don’t always make the best chemistry and passion fits for their new teams.

Yep, Bill O’Brien the head coach and Bill O’Brien the general manager better both be working overtime to get things going, but how many hours can any one man put in? We learned last last season that O’Brien was so overworked he didn’t even have time to review the offensive game plan until Friday, which is entirely too late to make changes. Adding all that comes with the GM role certainly isn’t going to add productivity to his schedule.

That brings us to the questions: which players do you think should stay and who should go? Who should the Texans pursue and what should O’Brien focus in on with laser-like intensity?

Let’s all play arm-chair Emperor of the Universe and discuss in the comments.