Nick Caserio’s abuse of signing veterans to one-year contracts is coming back to bite him this offseason. Houston enters the offseason with 22 free agents. That’s an incredible amount of turnover for one team to replace in an offseason.
Houston will need to fill 7-10 roster spots between its 22 free agents. Not all of them will need to be starters or impact players, but veterans who can contribute and ultimately keep this careening train on track, or at least capable of taking the field on a weekly basis.
Rasheem Green, DE:
Bio: 25, 6’4, USC, former Seattle 2018 third round pick, signed a one year $3.25M contract with the Houston Texans last offseason
2022 Stats: 16 games, 42 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss
Keep or Release: Release. Texans should not immediately pursue Green even though he led the position ground in snap counts. Even at 25, Green doesn’t possess the highest ceiling and was a scheme-fit for former head coach Lovie Smith’s defense.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo DE
Bio: 27, 6’2, Oklahoma, former Rams 2018 fifth rounder, signed a one year $3.25M contract with the Texans last offseason
2022 Stats: 17 games, 44 total tackles, 5 sacks, 9 tackles for loss
Keep or Release: Keep. Ogbo had a breakout season after three relatively contributory seasons with the Rams. He stepped up in the absence of Jonathan Greenard and should be the preeminent free agent to resign. He’ll be a building block for a defense looking to build its confidence.
Bio: 31, 6’0, Boston College, played on five different teams, resigned a one year $2.9M contract with the Texans last season. Injured reserve
2022 Stats: 2 games, 4 tackles
Keep or Resign: Release after two unproductive seasons and Jake Hansen taking over his role, KPL is an easy replacement for a system that won't fit him any longer.
Kyle Allen, QB
Bio: 26, A&M and UH, former UDFA signed by the Panthers in 2018, signed a one year, $2.5M contract with the Texans last offseason
2022 Stats: 46/78, 416 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs
Keep or Release: Release. Kyle had his moment, and duly demonstrated why Davis Mills’ leash was so long. By the end of the season he was QB3 and a non-factor on the roster.
Rex Burkhead, RB
Bio: 32, 5’10, Nebraska, former Bengal and Patriots rotational back, resigned a one year $2.35M contract with the Texans this offseason
2022 Stats: 26 attempts, 80 yards, 0 TDs, 37 rec, 204 yards, 1 TD
Keep or Release: Absolutely release. the 32 year old running back withered down the stretch. And by down the stretch, I mean after week four.
M.J. Stewart, SS
Bio: 27, 5’11, North Carolina, former second round pick from Tampa Bay and played two years with Cleveland, signed a one year $2.25M contract last offseason.
2022 Stats: 17 games, 41 total tackles,
Keep or Release: Keep. Stewart was a consummate special teams player, contributing to 84% of the snaps. He played a rotational role on defense, but mainly should be retained to maintain continuity on the special teams.
Scott Quessenberry, OC
2022 Stats: 992 snaps
Keep or Release: Release. Release. Release. Center will be one of the primary positions the team looks to resolve this offseason. Quessenberry was putrid and caused rookie Kenyon Green to have to absorb unnecessary pressure the entire season.
OJ Howard, TE:
Bio: 28, 6’6, Alabama, former first round pick from Tampa Bay, signed a one year deal.
Keep or Release: Keep, but only on another one year deal. Teagan Quitoriano began to produce and contribute down the stretch but Brevin Jordan hasn’t broken out just yet. Having another versatile veteran on the roster have help the others grow and mature.
Jonathan Owens, S
Bio: 27, 5’11, Missouri West, undrafted and signed by the Texans in 2021 for a two year, $1.2M contract
2022 Stats: 17 game, 125 tackles, 1 sack, 4 passes defended.
Keep or Release: Keep. Owens played the third most defensive snaps behind Christian Kirksey and Jalen Pitre. The husband to Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles also was second on the team in tackles. He was one of the most valuable players on the defense at just above $1M and would be inclined to sign a negotiated contract to stay in Houston. Whoever takes over for the defense will have a huge say, but at the right price Owens should stay.