How does a team with severe cap constraints fill an estimated 10 starting spots while expecting to contend?
By hoping? By praying? By taking flyers on available veterans?
ALL OF THE ABOVE!
I would not expect much more than deals like linebacker Joe Mays got last offseason. You must also keep in mind that the scheme change on defense will make the Houston Texans own free agents seem less attractive.
The best case scenario is that there are some veterans out there that have recently struggled and want to find a comfort zone playing in a familiar system or for a familiar coach.
Bill Parcells always had the loyal following “Parcells Guys.” The Texans defense has some great pieces in place, but is going to need some “Crennel Guys” to get back to the top.
There certainly will be some available. It’s early and there have already been some happenings/speculation around the league that could factor into the Texans plans.
The 1st, 33rd and 65th picks in the draft must yield instant starters for this team and those picks are likely to go towards a quarterback, a pass-rusher and an offensive tackle.
That means that the defensive line and secondary will have to be addressed through bargain free agency and the later rounds in the draft. That is unless the Texans trade out of the number one spot and pick up an additional premium pick.
Cornerback Asante Samuel was recently let go by the Falcons who played very early in his career for Crennel in New England. He will be heading into his 12th season and is no way the savior, but could be a veteran the Texans throw into the mix once a decision on Brice McCain is made.
There is also buzz out of Green Bay that their defense will be revamped with more athletic personnel to fit Dom Capers’ zone-blitzing scheme.
Of course we’d love to see B.J. Raji play for Houston, but he will command more than the Texans can afford. Nose tackle Ryan Pickett is more of a possibility because of his age and his 340 pound build.
What is #Packers plan? They want to re-make their D in Dom Capers’ image, going more athletic & versatile up front. May mean goodbye to Raji
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 13, 2014
Another low-risk option is Charger free agent nose tackle Cam Thomas. He is seven years younger than Pickett and coming off of an underachieving contract year for San Diego. Not exactly a great selling point, but it makes the discount possible.
Keep an eye on former New England Patriots. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork is coming off of a major injury and has a huge cap number. If released, can he be had at a reasonable price?
Signing big names is not possible, nor is it smart. The Texans will be trying to win the jackpot while playing the penny slots. Let’s see who has the luck.
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