Nov 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith observes the playing of the national anthem before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans: Cap and Free Agency

With all of the chatter on who the Houston Texans will pick with in the upcoming draft, free agency has been swept under the rug. Most national media outlets preach that this team is a quarterback away from becoming a contender. I disagree with their assumption. There are a lot of holes to fill and the salary cap is very concerning.

Let’s take a look at the numbers for the 2014 season.

Current Salary Cap: $134,114,730
Current Cap Room: $8,997,794

Players That Should Be Cut | Cap Number:
Matt Schaub – $14,125,000
Owen Daniels – $6,250,000
Danieal Manning – $6,000,000
Derek Newton – $1,404,064
Brandon Harris – $1,049,785
Randy Bullock – $614,527

Projected Dead Money | Projected Cap Gain/Loss:
Matt Schaub – $10,500,000 | $3,625,000
Owen Daniels – $1,750,000 | $4,500,000
Danieal Manning – $1,500,000 | $4,500,000
Derek Newton – $15,064 | $1,389,000
Brandon Harris – $224,878 | $824,907
Randy Bullock – $89,054 | $525,473

After Cuts:
Cap Room: $21,841,341

The obvious eyesore on this list is Matt Schaub. There is not a chance in hell that he will be with the team next season. His cap number is atrocious. The Texans do have the option to free up even more dollars if they cut him after June 1st. Why would that be beneficial? Per (also the source of the cap info):

When a player is cut on or after June 1, only the current year’s prorated bonus and guaranteed base salaries (if they exist) count against the current cap year. All other such cap money is accelerated against next year’s cap.

Remember that although a team may use a June 1 designation to cut a player before June 1, the team cannot get the benefits of the designation until June 1. Before then, the team must carry all guarantees against the current cap year, like a normal cut.

So how does it shake out?

Salary Cap | Cap Room
2014: $134,114,730 | $21,841,341
2015: $126,095,000 | $33,434,552
*Before June 1st.

Salary Cap | Cap Room
2014: $134,114,730 | $28,841,341
2015: $126,095,000 | $26,434,552
*After June 1st.

It’s safe to assume that Rick Smith will wait til after June 1st to cut Schaub.

On the Texans Free Agency front, players to hit the market are the following:
Wade Smith
Greg Jones
Antonio Smith
Elbert Mack
Ryan Harris
Joe Mays
Deji Karim
Darryl Sharpton
Ben Tate
Earl Mitchell
Garrett Graham
Ricky Sapp
Lestar Jean
Bryan Braman
Terrell McClain

Wade Smith and Joe Mays, are the only two players that Texans may throw money towards.

We will continue to look deeper into free agency, the cap, and The NFL Draft later on this week.

For more on the Draft see: Houston Texans: Cap and Draft By The Numbers

Follow House of Houston: @houseofhouston
Follow Marcus Chavez: @marcusdoesurmom

Tags: Cap Houston Texans NFL Free Agency Rick Smith

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