Mar 20, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel sit court side during the second quarter of the game between Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans Have High Expectations…for 2015


This is not a retraction, but rather an explanation. An explanation of the logic in my previous entry stating that the Houston Texans were rebuilding. It is a tad bit unfair to declare this an all-out “rebuild.” A two-year plan would be a more accurate description.

I’m not trying to crush dreams. I’m not a Texans “hater.” I’m just trying to get the realistic message out there that this is not an immediate turnaround. We need to set expectations when we’re evaluating this team as a whole.

They are not going to risk the future for 2014, by signing high-priced free agents like Vince Wilfork (if he is let go) when they don’t even know who their quarterback is.

They are preparing to sacrifice the ultimate goal this season in order to get the salary cap back to a manageable state.

That’s not to say that they can’t have a winning season, or even slip into the playoffs. In the NFL anything is possible because how big of a role injuries play.

If Andrew Luck goes down early in the season I believe this team has more talent than the rest of the AFC South. They just aren’t the Super Bowl contender we all thought they were a short time ago.

Immediate Strategy

It is clear that the Texans intend to avoid any long-term commitments to free agents this offseason. Cheaper players are being brought in to compete such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jerrell Powe, and Kendrick Lewis.

They’ve got the first pick in every round, Oakland’s 6th round pick that came from the Schaub-trade, and the three compensatory picks for losing free agents last offseason.

Who will they take? I have no idea. If Bill O’Brien does truly believe that there are 10-12 quarterbacks with little separation, then they may wait as late as the 3rd round to pick one.

2015 Financial Freedom

The Texans will have the resources to be a player in free agency next year if they choose.

Here is a list of large cap hits that will be off the books after the upcoming season.

Yes, I realize Watt is on the list. I understand that he will count much more than that in the future, but that’s over $33 million off the books. Four of those are already gone, with Watt being the only one that’s undoubtedly in the future plans, with Jackson being a maybe.

Up to an additional $21 million could be cleared if O’Brien doesn’t like what he sees from Arian Foster, Johnathan Joseph, and Chris Myers in 2014.

Manziel’s Pro Day

Tomorrow could be a very big day for the front office if Johnny Manziel re-ignites all of the hype with his pro day performance.

Not just because he is an option for the Texans, but because he is one of the most likely prospects to entice a general manager to make a “can’t refuse offer” to trade up.

Whether the Texans view Manziel as an option or not is beside the point. Hype surrounding any prospect is great at this point.

This draft is the most important event in this franchise’s history. If they don’t find at least four long-term, quality starters the O’Brien era will be just as miserable as the previous two.

At least the overhaul shouldn’t take as long as the one the Astros are going through.

Keep an eye out tomorrow morning. Staff Writer Patrick Lowe takes a different approach on how the Houston Texans should rebuild. It just might have something to do with Andre Johnson.

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