We are a few weeks from roster cuts, fifth year options, and franchise tags, and about five weeks away from free agency. There will be deals and trades as every team tries to get better for the 2020 season.
For now we can only dream and speculate and, more than anything, fabricate. ESPN is doing exactly this. They had a BOLD prediction for all 32 teams.
Here’s my BOLD prediction for the Houston Texans’ offseason. Houston won’t keep D.J. Reader around. That’s right. I said it. Now look, I love Reader. He’s one of the best run stoppers in football and actually, finally, was rushing the passer. But that stopped. He lost his wiggle. The wide ‘3’ rush attempts didn’t amount to much. He played a lot of 3-4 defensive end once J.J. Watt went down and they moved Brandon Dunn to nose tackle. Houston also has two linebackers who are great at playing the run, and don’t really need an expensive nose tackle to satiate their lust.
Also we just watched the 29th ranked run defense win a Super Bowl and mend their run defense by stacking the box, finding Mike Pennel, and playing Khalen Saunders more.
What Kansas City did have was a great pass defense that could play single high coverages, use three safeties to limit their linebacker play, rush the passer, and stack the box to save their run defense.
Passing the ball is better than running the ball. Stopping the pass is more important than stopping the run. Paying Reader ten figures isn’t going to improve one of the five worst pass defenses. Houston would be better off using this cap space to go after someone like Arik Armstead, or Chris Jones, or Yannick Ngakoue, or Bud Dupree, players who can all affect a quarterback’s dropback. This is what they need. And without a first round draft pick, free agency is the easiest way to find it.
Anyways, here’s what Sarah Barshop of ESPN had to say. Dang, I guess we finally agree on something:
The Texans will let nose tackle D.J. Readerwalk, despite an excellent season.
Houston struck gold when it drafted Reader in the fifth round in 2016, but by not having signed him to a new contract before the 2019 season, the team might be priced out of keeping him. The Texans could use the franchise tag on Reader, but after giving extensions to center Nick Martin and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus and with new deals on the horizon for quarterback Deshaun Watson and left tackle Laremy Tunsil, they might not be able to keep the nose tackle. — Sarah Barshop
What about you? What’s your BOLD take for the Texans offseason?