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2020 NFL Free Agency: Bold Houston Texans Offseason Moves

Pass defense. Pass defense. Pass defense.

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

You have the yin and the yang. The feminine and the masculine. The moon and the sun. You have Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus for your football analysis.

Each football-knowing organization has some sort of agreement with ESPN in place, and each one divulged potential offseason moves for every NFL team. Football Outsiders provided a daring move, while Pro Football Focus provided a perfect free agent match. One using DVOA. One using player grades.

These were their recommendations for the Houston Texans this offseason.


Houston Texans: Sign the best available edge rusher

The Texans have the opposite problem of the Jaguars: plenty of cap space but a severe lack of draft picks. Though not exactly a strength, Houston’s offensive line is at least no longer a disaster worthy of a Tom Hanks-Gary Sinise movie, so the Texans are free to pay attention to their declining defense. The Texans ranked 28th in ESPN’s pass rush win rate metric and should focus their free-agency efforts on the best available pass-rusher.

Unfortunately, the very best two available — Shaq Barrett and Chris Jones — have both expressed a desire to stay in their current spots. Assuming Jadeveon Clowney is also not about to return to Houston so soon after being traded away, that probably leaves Jacksonville’s Yannick Ngakoue as the best available option. Signing Ngakoue, at least, would have the dual effect of weakening a division rival while strengthening the Texans. He is easily good enough to return Whitney Mercilus to his more suited ancillary role, providing a significant upgrade to a front seven that will need to become the strength of the Texans’ defense once again in 2020.


Houston Texans: CB Chris Harris Jr.

2019 team: Broncos | Age: 30

Over the past decade, Harris has been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, and he simply has been the gold standard in the slot. It seems as if his time in Denver is likely over after a season in which he played primarily out wide for the first time in his career, and the Texans would welcome him to Houston. The Texans’ recent moves have made it clear that they’re hunting a championship. The biggest roadblock to making a championship a reality has been the play of their secondary, and no team had a lower slot coverage grade than the Texans in 2019 (36.8). Harris is looking to move elsewhere, and Houston is a win-now team that has a definite need in his preferred role.

Personally, I like either move. The Texans, just like last offseason, need to improve their pass defense. Get a pass rusher. Or a cornerback. Whatever. This is where the Texans need to invest in this team. The offense already has the talent in place. The defense is what’s suffering.

Do you have your own BOLD move or PERFECT MATCH for the Texans this offseason? If so, leave them below.