USA Today’s Mark Lane has been cranking out a lot of good Texans related content this offseason. His latest piece breaks down where Houston’s salary cap cash is going, and where the expenditures rank among al NFL teams. You can read the full piece here.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the second biggest outlay covers the salaries of Houston’s 217,000,00 linebackers. This position group takes a $34,029,773 bite out of Houston’s salary apple.
The Texans are spending the most salary on...
Where is the largest expenditure? The secondary of all places. Yes, arguably the weakest position group on the entire team is chewing through the most cap space at $41,757,117. CB1 Bradley Roby accounts for $10.235 million, with safety Eric Murray cashing another $7,468,750 of it. Where’s Justin Reid, the only legit star of the secondary? He comes in fifth place, thanks to playing out his rookie deal, at $2,692,914. Overall, 21.47% of Houston cap goes to the secondary - that’s 1/5th of the available Benjamins. With eight other position groups, it seems Nick Caserio needs to re-jigger the dollars into something that brings back a far better return on investment. This puts Houston in 8th place among all teams for money spent on corners and safeties. With last year’s 32nd place performance, it’s hard to see this as money well spent.
Where are the Texans spending the least?
Aside from special teams, that is? The tight end group jumps out as the lowest drag on the cap, with $8,116,094 going to seven players. Yes, that includes $1 million going to Kahale “Never played a down in my life” Warring. If you pull Deshaun Watson out of the mix, the quarterbacks account for the smallest amount ($23,579,815 with Watson and $7,639,815 without him). That, of course would depend on Nick Caserio trading Watson and his resulting cap hit to another team, which may or may not happen prior to training camp, depending on which rumor you listen to these days.
How much cap space do the Texans currently have left?
According to the fine folks at OverTheCap.com, your Houston Texans are currently only $4,959,617 under the cap. For a team widely panned as having the least talented roster in the NFL, that’s not a good optic. Watson, Roby, Randall Cobb, Laremy Tunsil, and Whitney Mercilus account for $54.468 million of Houston’s $219 million dollar cap expenditures. Watson (if he was playing) and Tunsil’s deals make sense. To a lesser extent, Roby’s does as well. Paying Cobb and Mercilus a combined $19.08 million—not so much.
Part of Caserio’s pre-hire hype was his ability to manage the salary cap well. While he did free up some space this offseason, he turned right around and spent it in a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul shell game that ultimately didn’t do much to help Houston’s future. However, with big personel cuts looming to get the team back down to the 53-man roster limit, the 2021 salary cap story isn’t over. If Caserio can manage to Turk his way to season roster limits without eating a pile of dead money, the future will get a little brighter.