The Houston Texans vault from inept to AFC South champions could not have been accomplished without the successful offseason acquisitions put together by general manager Nick Caserio. Not only were the offseason additions critical, but his in-season moves to bandage together a defense were crucial to the Texans late season run. Players such as DeAndre Houston-Carson, Shaq Griffin, Derek Barnett played valuable depth roles on a defense riddled with injuries.
From this crop of new signees to former draft picks, the Texans front office has it’s hands full with crucial decisions to make in free agency. They need to start first with identifying players they want to re-sign before they hit the market. Here’s the top free agent re-signed options.
TE Dalton Schultz
Schultz has been among the most pleasant surprises of the entire season for those unfamiliar with Schultz before the season. For those who do know his talent from his days shrouded in a talented Dallas Cowboys offense, it’s another fantastic season for the versatile player. With second year tight end Teagan Quitoriano injured early and third year TE Brevin Jordan rarely seeing playing time, Schultz was the adult and leader in the room. He singlehandedly won the Texans several games with miraculous catches - most notably against the Tennessee Titans several weeks ago to lead a comeback win.
Schultz ended the regular season with 59 catches for 635 yards and five TDs. He averaged a career best 10.8 yards per catch. His fairly consistent production compared to his time in Dallas proves his viability as a pass catcher in the league. He’s also a fairly consistent blocker when called upon.
Top tight ends do not carry as much weight as other offensive positions. Schultz is currently on a one year, $6.25M deal as a “prove-it-or-lose-it” contract. If Houston wants to keep one of Stroud’s favorite targets, they’ll need to fork over $7 - $10M per year.
Greenard is the biggest cap contingent here. Meaning, it’s difficult to understand what his range will be as the market could be fairly lucrative for him. Greenard views himself as a team’s primary defensive end and pass rusher, which means he’ll be requesting a top-flight salary. That usually comes with a $15 - $25M per year salary. However it’s clear that Houston has a new pass rush maestro in Will Anderson Jr. While Houston has the cash to pay Greenard, the money would be better spent on other positions of need.
Losing Greenard would force the Texans to expend another high draft pick on a defensive end. The only thing better than one elite defensive end... is two. In a sense, the Texans need to evaluate the value between paying Greenard to stay, paying whoever is available in free agency, and/or drafting another defensive end.
Another player on a “prove-it-or-lose-it” deal, Singletary also stole the show at his position. Coming into the season Singletary was billed as the backup, rotational piece to Dameon Pierce who could provide a pass catching threat out of the backfield. By the end of the season, Singletary was the featured back.
The RB position is the most sharp-edged positional group in the league. Due to it being devalued on most NFL rosters, Singletary should look to re-sign in Houston for a two to three year deal that would be quite favorable for him given the market. Singletary is only 26 years old, meaning he has a few more years left before he reaches his maximum output.
Houston’s offense relies upon their running back quiet often. Singletary broke the 1,000 all-purpose yard mark this year and that’s with a limited role to begin the season. Houston can easily find another suitable running back option in the open market, but it would be in both the team and Singletary’s best interest to re-ink another deal.
Personally, this was the best signing of the offseason. Perryman is a workhorse, leader, and developmental key to the defense. Houston arguably has the most depth in the league at linebacker; a position which is also being devalued by teams. Perryman was fourth on the team with 76 tackles and eighth on the team in tackles for loss.
Between Christian Harris, Henry To’oTo’o, and Blake Cashman, Houston is fairly complete at the position. However, the development and leadership that Perryman can provide to the younger group makes him a standout veteran to have on this team. He is a true captain and helps bring the team together with his communication, toughness, and poise. He would be 32 next season, but if Houston wants to maintain their talented core at linebacker, keeping Perryman is a must.
Dieter and the interior of the offensive line may have been cooked by the Ravens, but they dominated the Cleveland Browns defense. Michael Dieter was a major part of both performances.
Dieter was signed this offseason to be a versatile veteran guard/center option behind the conglomerate of young talent Houston drafted. What Houston didn’t expect was Dieter to start 10 games this season. Dieter is and isn’t what Houston needs moving forward. He isn’t going to redefine the position and compete for a Pro Bowl. He is going to be helpful for the Texans in 2024 if he decides to stay. He isn’t going to hold back the team from pushing Juice Scruggs, Jarrett Patterson, and Kenyon Green from taking the mantle moving forward.
Keeping Dieter would be a low cost move to sealing up a necessary roster spot. It would be worth the effort to see who else is available in free agency, but keeping Dieter as a Texan would do more to help than hurt.