Last season, despite having numerous holes across the defensive side of the ball, the Texans resigned Brandon Dunn to a three-year $12 million contract. Dunn is known as a run stopper, despite being bad at stopping the run, and offers nothing as an interior rusher, an issue that has plagued the Texans since Antonio Smith retired, with their only source of interior rush being a few bright weeks of D.J. Reader, J.J. Watt back when he rushed as a 4i, and Jadeveon Clowney divebombing blitzes. It was a dumb extension a year ago, it was dumb that Nick Caserio didn’t release him months ago, it was a dumb contract up until yesterday.
Dunn has accomplished more than I ever will, has made more money in a month then I will make over the course of my career, is set for his entire life, and will probably find another defensive line rotation to be apart of, like former Texans bygones Christian Covington, and Carlos Watkins. Now that that is out of the way, I’m so happy this finally happened. The Texans released Dunn yesterday.
As stated before, Dunn was not only an underwhelming player, he was an underwhelming player with a ridiculous contract. Bill O’Brien had zero concept of market value. He felt contracts, and handed out exorbitant sums to find tough, smart, and dependable. T.S.D. baby, where the T doesn’t stand for talented. Houston did the same thing before with Angelo Blackson, with Whitney Mercilus, and Zach Cunningham—who isn’t worth the contract since he’s a weakside linebacker who doesn’t anchor a front seven or control a game, he’s a great chase and tackle complimentary player.
Dunn was a the type of player you find scattered across the league cheap and easy. Strong muscles. Warm breath. Pink lungs to inflate the run defense. Completely unremarkable. I’ve watched Houston’s All-22 since he found his way on the roster. I can’t name one play Dunn has ever made. He isn’t a starting caliber player, and wasn’t worth $3 million a year.
When people think of the fall of the Texans, the fact that they never found their way to the beautiful alternative futures that were available to them, and the franchise is the rubble it is now, they will point to the Clowney trade, or DeAndre Hopkins trade, or David Johnson’s success rate, or J.J. Watt simply leaving the team, or Deshaun Watson’s trade request. They’ll forget Blackson’s contract, or the Eric Murray signing, or Seantrel Henderson starting at right tackle two years in a row, or Shareece Wright, but these things are just as important. It’s little things like this that broke the dam. The ridiculous little decisions build up and converge into the giant stupid ones.
Releasing Dunn is cathartic. Even if you are like myself, and have doubts about Caserio and the Jack Easterby cartel, these small decisions, the removal of previous sins, at least offer resolve, and a path forward for new life to grow and a new team to blossom. The albatross has been ripped off the neck from this franchise, with more still rattling around.
Don’t worry about Dunn. He will be fine, in fact, he’ll be better off than 99% of us, and we are all happy that he’s happy. I’m sure he’ll have two sacks for the Denver Broncos this year and double his career total.