The Houston Texans have made every indication that they’re far from done as far as free agency and that their plans couldn’t be closer from the word retreat. Although today’s action is a bit less muted, the team has signed special teams guru Johnson Bademosi to a two-year deal, making him the highest-paid special teams player in the NFL. Say what? Take a look.
The Houston Texans are going to need to refill their pens with ink after all the signing that they’ve been doing this off season. It’s to be expected, they had approximately $65.7 million to spend and they’ve only ran through a portion.
As it stands, the Houston Texans have a little under $50 million left of cap space, spending approximately 23.8 percent of it for deals to lock in Aaron Colvin, Zach Fulton, Senio Kelemete, Seantrel Henderson, Johnathan Joseph, Greg Mancz, Shane Lechler, Angelo Blackson and a few others. This also factors in the $12 million or so 5th-year option that Jadeveon Clowney is owed as well.
So would the Houston Texans continue to shop? The answer to that question is absolutely. As a matter of fact, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news on the team signing special teams guru Johnson Bademosi to a two-year, $6.25 million pact:
It’s been awhile since the Houston Texans have been associated with the phrase “highest-paid” but this contract is rather meager in comparison to some of the mega deals that have been signed over he past few days. Nate Solder anyone?
The 6’0,” 200-pound 2012 undrafted defensive back — formerly of the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns — is an extremely versatile and fits the “longer, stronger, faster” mantra that
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general manager Brian Gaine is attempting to employ for this season. Because of having several facets of his game, the team likely felt that it was warranted to give him a top-level deal.
Bademosi has received high marks from Pro Football Focus over the years but this past season was less than flattering, earning a 47.2 overall grade, 46.1 in coverage, 77.0 in run defense and 60.0 with his pass rushing. This season’s production is down from 57.8 in 2016.
I wouldn’t focus too heavily on the overall grade but the 77.0 in run defense because he could be a boon for special teams on kickoff and punt returns to try to provide as precise coverage as possible. He racked up 61 special team tackles in his first four seasons with the Cleveland Browns from 2012-16, not an easy feat to complete. He also was a 2016 Pro Bowl alternate to boot as well.
This move barely put a dent in our cap space so they’re perfectly fine with this signing. With a strong push by the Texans’ brass to upgrade the secondary but it’s now a two-fold process because he can also have a prominent role on special teams.
What’s the intriguing part of this deal?
Bademosi’s previous deal was quite similar — two years, $6 million — that was signed with the Detroit Lions back in 2015 but he was quickly traded to the Patriots before the start of this past season for a 2019 sixth-round pick.
Even back then, he too held the title for the highest-paid special teams player in the NFL. The 27-year-old is a tackling machine, being able to quickly to get to his spot and take his assignment down when needed. Each of his stops in his career have been eventful and he doesn’t seem to bounce around too often, certainly indicating his marked value.
Have the Texans caught lightning in a bottle from the Pats? We’ll have to see on that but I actually like this low-risk, under-the-radar move. But he’s certainly worth the spend in my book.
Bademosi amassed 15 tackles and one pass defensed in three starts at corner for the Pats last season but he appeared in all 16 games.