It’s already June. We’ll be dead so soon. The beginning of June is the time of existential dread. Now that the year is halfway over, it’s also the end times for compensatory pick awards and enormous dead money payouts—if players are released or traded before their prorated bonus money hits the cap. Before training camp, there is a little leap in free agency movement as the stragglers try to find homes before the season is really underway.
Who is your favorite available free agent the Texans can sign to bring in more competition-competition-competition?
This is the question I asked the masthead. These are their responses:
I’ve been thinking a lot about competition recently. Is it up to man to have the desire in his own soul to be great, to fight against the doubters in his own sponge, and work to create the things that he wants? Or does his environment, naysayers, combatants, and external forces push him and mold him into the thing he wants to become?
Personally, I fall into the first category. The push to touch my own internal bottom, and pillaging inadequacy is what made this thing—whatever that maybe. External competition was pushed out of me thanks to YMCA fistfights and straggling behind others, waiting for my skin to grow.
Nick Caserio thinks the opposite. It’s external forces strangling each other to climb the top of the pyramid is what makes someone who they are. Rex Burkhead is here to push David Johnson. Joe Thomas is here to battle with Kevin Pierre-Louis. Watch your back Tyrod Taylor, we have Davis Mills. No one better buy their own Patagonia vest.
The best position on the Texans roster is at tackle. They have a top five pass protector in Laremy Tunsil. Tytus Howard is a bottom run blocker, but if he finds average, he automatically becomes a good player. Roderick Johnson is a great run blocking swing tackle, and aside from a late game one v. one loss, Charlie Heck played fine at right tackle last season.
This isn’t enough. These players need to be pushed. Tunsil and Howard are too complacent. Heck and Johnson shouldn’t feel secure about their place on the team. Give me Dennis Kelly. A surprising vagabond at this point of the summer. He was one of the better midzone run blockers in the league last season, and did more than hold his own replacing Jack Conklin. Plus his brother is Tim Kelly. That’s cute. I like cute things like that. Especially when it’s hard to find cute things to enjoy regarding our favorite football team.
If you picked Rex Burkhead on your “Texans Free Agent Targets” you get to check two boxes off. What a ridiculous signing. Who do we really think we are?
At this point, let’s sign Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, and Larry Fitzgerald. Continue to live in the past. Build a team to win in 2017. Go all in. One year contracts galore.
But for real, the Texans still need to address the defensive line. Everson Griffen would be an ideal veteran presence on this team. He’d fit in well with our new 4-3 defense and support the new linebackers we’ve recruited too. He’s a bit old, but certainly can be a productive defensive edge rusher for this team.
Interior defensive lineman Kawann Short has spent his entire career in Carolina and is finally looking to greener pastures. They might not be greener, but they are open pastures in Houston. Short was the front line defense that let Luke Kuechly roam free on the field. He was the main defensive lineman in the Panthers run several years ago and has been well paid for the past four years. He’ll most likely opt for a team trying to win a championship, but a soft landing in Houston could be advantageous for the Texans.
I’d think if they intended on bringing in anyone still on the street, it would need to be a player-coach sort of veteran. The kind of guy who loves to teach younger players, who can bring experience, leadership and guidance to the “kids” that are the future of this team. Grabbing the best available free agent at a position of need at this stage is pointless - the only way this team is competitive this season is if all 31 other teams suffer mass spontaneous human combustion and the rest of the league goes up in a puff of smoke.
PFF has a good list of available remaining free agents and teams they believe those veterans would fit well. Ironically, the only player on the list they think fits Houston is yet another linebacker... cause Kyle McEasterby hasn’t signed enough of those already.
Guys like the aforementioned Larry Fitzgerald might fit that player-coach mold. Maybe Justin Houston? Definitely not Richard Sherman.
Then there’s always the Patriots colored 800lb Gorilla in the room of Danny Amendola. Might as well sign him on our way to replacing David Culley with Tom Brady next off-season... I wonder if Amendola ever played linebacker?
I guess 72 moves are not enough. 7 running backs and 11 linebackers (at least). I suppose we can always include MOAR LBs and RBs, just because. Is there a prospect we can pull from the Kiwi All-Blacks, since the squad’s obsession with LBs and RBs seem to reflect a desire to build up a great rugby team. Given the quarterback situation and the team’s true powerbase, I would have said go for Tim Tebow, but the Urbz moved in first (that and the Jags owner Khan can give Tebow the chance to move into pro wrestling, since he also owns AEW...better career options than what McEasterby can offer).
However, if the team actually wanted to look for a needs-based signing, they should look to a guard or defensive tackle. Sheldon Richardson (DL) is still out there, as is Trai Turner (G). Neither will really get the team off its current road to perdition, but at least it might show that the front office can make need-based moves in a low-risk/high-reward situation. Besides, this team still has weaknesses at those key spots (and given this roster, that is saying something).
Everson Griffen still being available is surprising!
Considering the litany of linebackers that have been added to the squad among the massive roster turnover this offseason, the additions should really stop here. However, that’s just not as fun as adding every name out there.
If the team were to inject anything other than optimism into this team, it should be youth. Now, I know that Laquon Treadwell has been a relative disappointment to say the least but he could be a fun camp body to watch. I think we all know this team’s penchant for former first-round talents.
Also, the team should revisit with BIG ALMOST PLAY P.J. Hall. His one play a game is a fun time and we’ll certainly need some sugar to make the Castor oil that is this season go down.