The Houston Texans entered free agency as one of the most flush teams in the NFL, even with the contracting salary cap. Now, almost a week in, the team has just $2 million left — and stunningly little to show for it.
It’s not a question of activity, rather on the contrary. Houston has been one of the most active teams in free agency so far, signing 26 players, trading for four more, and completely reworking the entire roster. The issue is that that in combing these deal it’s hard to find a single one that makes the Texans a better team on the football field.
We’re left with a stunningly bizarre scenario tantamount to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. The Texans have bled top-end talent, and invested all their money into middling replacements, including six cast offs from the New England Patriots who have history with new GM Nick Casserio. The majority of these new contracts are for two years at most, further muddying the water and raising questions whether the Texans are actually trying to change the culture and form a winning football team, or tossing $22 million worth of bait in the water, and hoping they catch something.
The naive, positive way to look at the Texans’ decisions so far.
Knowing the team was lacking talent across the 53, Casserio and incoming head coach David Culley are looking to evaluate the entire roster from the ground up with players they’re familiar with. Choosing not to over-extend on long term deals, the team is instead looking to sure up the foundation, while keeping the future financial solvency of the team intact.
This will mean that should a few players of this large group break out, the Texans will have the money in 2022 to ink them long term, and better evaluate problem areas for the next draft and free agency period.
The negative, more accurate way to look at the Texans decisions.
There is very little logic behind what Houston is doing, especially considering that publicly the team is saying they’re not interested in trading Deshaun Watson, and plans to keep building around him.
A year ago the team traded DeAndre Hopkins, decimating the offense — now they’ve allowed Will Fuller, one of the best receivers on the team to walk. In his place they’ve added a handful of magic beans, and traded for Ryan Izzo, a former tight end from New England who had 199 yards receiving last year.
The biggest money the team has given out is a 1 year, $10 million deal for ... quarterback Tyrod Taylor. A mystifying, bizarre move that only makes sense if the team is actually going to move Watson, which again, they’re insistent on not doing.
This is a team that finished 10-6 in 2019, and won a damn playoff game. They only got stopped by eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City. The consensus following the season was that Houston was on the right track, they just needed more superstars to takr the team to the next level.
Instead we’re looking at the least talented roster in the NFL finding a way to get even worse, while spending almost all its available free agency money. More can, and will be freed up with cuts — but at this point it’s impossible to believe the Texans will either pursue top free agents, or believe there will be enough talent out there for the team to truly upgrade in the final days.
Are the Texans the NFL’s biggest dumpster fire?
Yes. More accurately, hell yes. The worst part is that this has been the biggest unforced error in the NFL. None of this needed to happen, but Houston has been making a concerted effort to destroy their organization from the ground up. We’ve seen teams just be bad in the past, but nothing quite like what’s been happening to the Texans since the beginning of the year.
Fans don’t deserve this. The people of Houston don’t deserve this. Players who were on the 2019 playoff team don’t deserve this. This is a mess, and maybe this team proves me wrong in six months, but I’ll wager we’re about to see one of the worst football teams of all time take the field.