Welcome to the off-season rumor mill where anything is possible and football fans such as ourselves will discuss literally everything we believe will improve our team.
This time around, it’s upgrading the Houston Texans ground game by bringing in a solid veteran tailback, Saquon Barkley. The current New York Giants running back might hit the free agency pool this spring if the G-Men don’t slap him with another franchise tag. Spotrac has Barkley at an estimated $9.9 million, which is doable for a team with nearly $60 mil in cap space.
The five-year vet, drafted second overall out of Penn State in 2018, would pair nicely with current RB1 Devin Singletary. This duo would then take some pressure off new franchise quarterback C.J. Stroud, allowing offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik to open up his playbook even further in 2024. That is, if the offensive line gets, and stays, healthy.
The Houston Texans are a general manager’s dream right now. They have an exciting team with a young quarterback in C.J. Stroud who just won a playoff game in his rookie season and has four more years of a cost-controlled contract.
That’s going to allow them to get aggressive over the next few offseasons while putting together a team that head coach DeMeco Ryans can push to multiple playoff runs.
The Texans are flush with cash heading into the 2024 offseason. They rank fourth leaguewide in cap space right now with around $66 million. For context, the three teams in front of them—the Washington Commanders, Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots—all parted ways with their head coaches this offseason.
The Texans have a lot of elements in place to have one of the NFL’s best offenses next season. When healthy, Tank Dell and Nico Collins were great receivers for Stroud, while Devin Singletary racked up a career-high 898 rushing yards behind the offensive line.
Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik should also make Houston an appealing landing spot for Barkley. He’s been so impressive in his rise to his current role that he interviewed with five teams this offseason for their head coaching vacancies.
Barkley would give the Texans a dynamic dual threat in the backfield that could help them build on their shocking 2023 success.
Should the Texans get Saquon Barkley? pic.twitter.com/OiO2vXbiOP— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 2, 2024
Houston got all it could out of free agent acquisition Devin Singletary, and it appears upshot 2022 rookie Dameon Pierce is not a great fit in the run scheme. Barkley can get to the edge well in outside zone and make defenders miss in space while also taking pressure off C.J. Stroud. The Texans should have had a much higher pass rate in 2023 and too often deployed a run-run-pass sequence, but Barkley is also an asset as a pass catcher and pass blocker.
With Derrick Henry’s name in the mix, which thundering running back would better suit the Texans? Or, is general manager Nick Caserio better off fishing in the draft pool for a ground game hammer? With running backs falling in the draft a little further every year, could Caserio roll the dice and hope to land Jonathon Brooks of the Texas Longhorns? If not Brooks, Florida State Seminoles’ Trey Benson also seems like a solid option.