Houston Texans: Why now’s not the time to cut OL Jeff Allen from the team

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Tom Savage /

The off season is underway for the Houston Texans and the big picture of how the roster will be shaped is now coming together with the draft now complete.  According to the latest report, offensive lineman Jeff Allen will start the season on the shelf.  Let’s take a look further.

The Houston Texans have their work cut out for them this season as they try to gain a foothold in a much-improved divisional battle to the top.  In past seasons, the team ultimately was the most talented thus correlating to their success in the 2015 and 2016 seasons as of late.

But the tides have turned and the Houston Texans are stacked up with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, teams that have made tremendous strides in improving their product through free agency and the draft.

It will be a dogfight to the end but there’s no doubt that the Houston Texans will be among the fray when the dust settles, hopefully on top.  There’s a few unknowns coming into the season but hopefully the depth and breath of the roster will help alleviate those concerns.

But at least on the news front, the Houston Texans will be without one of their tenured offensive linemen in guard/tackle Jeff Allen.

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports:

Allen is still reeling from multiple ankle injuries as well as concussions that he sustained back in 2017 and they obviously feel he’s not ready to step on any football field just yet.

This news isn’t as stunning as it is disappointing for a free agency signing that offered a lot of promise.  It’s hard to picture a season during his time here where he wasn’t injured and as I always say your best ability is your availability and he certainly hasn’t met that credo.

But the fact there’s additional depth with the signing of Zach Fulton, Senio Kelemete, Seantrel Henderson and with help from rookie Julie’n Davenport, they may be able to ho-hum their way through the season with some quality protection for Deshaun Watson.

What does this mean to the Texans?

Allen will definitely not be ready to start the season but is eligible to return after the first six

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weeks of the season have transpired.  At that point, the Houston Texans can decide to put him on injured reserve for the rest of the season, cut him or put him back on the roster if he’s ready.

Doing this prevents him from counting toward the 90-player training camp period roster and certainly he does not count toward the 53-man roster when the regular season commences.

What are the financial repercussions?

Allen is currently working off a four-year, $28 million deal that he signed back in 2016 and has two years left.  He’s owed a base salary of $5.75 million this season and $6 million in 2019 before the end of his term.

I’m pretty sure many of us want that term to end much sooner than later just based off his performance on the field.  But for all intents and purposes, it’s just not a good idea to cut him now because the team would still owe him $2.5 million on the season if he were released from the roster now.

That’s still a lot of money to not be wasteful of so it’s worth having to wait it out just one more time with him as his dead cap figure gets better in 2019 ($1.25 million) but who knows if he’ll still be here by then?

With the injury designation that he’s been given, by the time Week 6 rolls around, they will have paid him close to that amount any way so the Houston Texans are carefully playing this right to see if he’ll come around by then.

He sat out four games last season and missed two back in 2016 indicating that he does his utmost to be available but his effectiveness has been mired by his injuries.

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If Jeff isn’t ready by Week 6, it’s time to cut him from the roster as there’s other guys that covet an opportunity to help this team win.  It isn’t necessarily his fault but it’s just the nature of the business.

Allen, 28, eked out an awful 38.4 overall grade by Pro Football Focus (35.6 pass block, 44.8 run block) through 728 snaps in 2017.