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Red Zone Play: Waiting...

Examining why the Texans have been so quiet during free agency thus far.

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v New England Patriots Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Waiting seems to be a pretty common theme this time of year. Waiting for free agent announcements, waiting for the NFL draft, waiting for...






If you’re a fan of the Houston Texans (not sure why you’d be reading this if you weren’t, unless you’re waiting for news about your team to drop), the waiting right now must seem like the longest stretch of * pause-button * in franchise history.

Texans fans are:

  • Waiting for any tidbit of free agent news, since Houston is now the only team not to sign an outside free agent.
  • Waiting for Tony Romo to be released from his tenure in JerryWorld (“The only good thing to come out of Dallas is I-45 South…” Unknown Houstonian)
  • Waiting for Texans General Manager Rick Smith to wake up and realize it’s his turn to go.
  • Waiting to find out who will be under center for Houston next season.
  • Waiting to find out who will be the center next season.
  • Waiting for Vince Wilfork to decide if he’s staying or going.
  • Waiting for… well, you get the idea.

In this real-life waiting room of Texans fandom, speculation runs rampant as our football-obsessed minds seek to fill the news void with something, anything, to make us feel alive. Things like random trade scenarios, endless debates over Romo’s ability to stay healthy and function in head coach Bill O’Brien’s offense, various tangential topics on miscellaneous minutia that we cling to as if it were the Gospel.

This is how Houston fandom fills the gap of waiting.

With that in mind, here’s some of the speculation that’s racing across my desk, spilling through my mind, or simply crashing into the barrier of “What If?” in a frenzy of non-constructive time-filler.

  • Houston has no interest in Jay Cutler (insert city-wide sigh of relief). This team seems to be driving in win now mode, and that’s simply a gear Cutler has never achieved.
  • Jerry Jones doesn’t seem to want Houston to snatch up Romo – most likely due to the ego-blow he’d endure if Romo (allegedly referred to in Jerry’s house as “My precious…”) led the Texans to the Lombardi Trophy.
  • Rick Smith is working feverishly behind the scenes to pull off some mega-blockbuster of a trade involving Kirk Cousins and a slew of Texans’ assets. Obviously wishful thinking, but there’s enough smoke out there to assume fire could exist.
  • Smith, O’Brien, and the Houston brass are laser-focused on a rookie quarterback they intend to give away the draft – or at least significant resources - for. More speculation than verifiable “rumor” to this one as well.

This far into free agency, it is pretty easy to believe Smith has something wild brewing. Something that won’t drop until the national media is solely focused on the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.

More and more mock drafts have Houston taking Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes or North Carolina’s field general Mitch Trubisky. Could it be that Smith is saving all his capital to make sure Houston can land one of them? Maybe he’s pulling back on the resources to land Romo and (insert rookie QB) to have Romo fill the void for 2017 while the rook learns to take over should Romo once again fail to complete a season?

Or maybe he’s simply engaged in a staring contest with Washington, waiting for them to realize that paying Kirk Cousins $24 million a year is just another in a long line of terrible contract decisions?

Either way, no matter what’s actually coming down the pike for Houston right now, all we can do is sit and...


Have speculation of your own to add to fill this seemingly timeless void? A neat way to get through the day while we agonizingly anticipate each passing second? Let us know in the comments below.