In the NFL, teams have two ways to improve their roster. They have cap space, and they have draft capital. These are the two avenues they have to add new talent to their roster. With the NFL Combine taking place this week, and the gates to free agency opening in two weeks, these days will be fast upon us, when NFL teams scramble to put these resources to work.
The Houston Texans spent last season lamenting past tragedies, as they picked in the middle of the draft, and signed a horde of non-playable characters to one-year contracts. This year is slightly different. Although Houston’s cap space is limited by Nick Caserio’s absurd contract restructures, they finally have draft capital.
Below is a summary of the free agents the Texans have, potential cuts, their current cap space, dead money, and current draft picks. This is what Houston has at its disposal to build the 2022 Houston Texans into something better than the 2021 Houston Texans:
Houston Texans—Record: 4-13. Point Differential: -172 (30). DVOA: -24.4% (28).
Notable Free Agents: Tyrod Taylor (QB), David Johnson (RB), Maliek Collins (DL), Justin Britt (C), Christian Kirksey (LB), Desmond King (CB), Kamu Gruiger-Hill (LB), Danny Amendola (WR), Pharoah Brown (TE), Demarcus Walker (DL), Chris Conley (WR), Jon Weeks (LS), Justin Reid (S), Geron Christian (LT), Antony Auclair (TE), Jordan Akins (TE), Jimmy Morrisey (C), Jacob Martin (EDGE)
Potential Cuts: Brandin Cooks ($8.75 million), Eric Murray ($5.4 million), Marcus Cannon ($5.2 million), Ka’imi Fairbairn ($2.8 million), Kevin Pierre-Louis ($3.1 million), Terrance Mitchell ($3.1 million), Jordan Jenkins ($2.8 million), Justin McCray ($2.3 million), Max Scharping ($2.5 million), estimate savings of $35.95 million.
Cap Space: $17,559,095
Dead Money: $35,462,243
Draft Picks: 1st round (3rd overall), 2nd round (37th overall), 3rd round (68th overall), 3rd round (80th overall), 4th (TBD), 6th (TBD), 6th (via SF from NYJ TBD), 6th (via GB TBD), 7th (via DAL TBD)
19. Texans- Avg. Rank 19.3
Houston has over 45% of their snaps up in free agency as they simply pieced their team together last year to get through the season. They need to find a suitor for Deshaun Watson who will look past his off the field issues and pay a fortune for him. Trading Watson would clear up their cap for the future and explode their draft capital for the next few seasons. If they are forced to hold onto him this year it is hard to see them getting much better.
This offseason will actually be interesting unlike last year for the Texans. Between the cuts they are going to make, a possible Deshaun Watson trade, and the third overall pick, the Texans have moves and decisions to make, that will have a substantial affect on the future.