With the NFL’s Free Agency first day behind us, Houston Texans fans saw key defensive players find new homes. Theodore Roosevelt High School’s Quentin Demps went to the Chicago Bears, AJ Bouye went to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and John Simon found new employment with the Indianapolis Colts.
- Demps’ contract is a three-year $13.5 million deal.
- Bouye’s contract is a five-year $67.5 million deal.
- Simon’s contract is a three-year $13.5 million deal.
Those three leaving, and the trade of former quarterback Brock Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns, opened up $34.2 million in cap space for the Texans. However, seeing the three defensive players leave means the reigning number-one defense in the league now have a few holes to fill.
Last season, Demps led the team in interceptions with six. That’s three times as many as second place on the team, Andre Hal’s two. Bouye’s departure means Houston losses someone who ranked third on the squad in tackles with 63. And, Simon leaving forces the team to find someone to replace his 3.5 sacks.
This Texans team may be able to find a replacement, in the void left from Bouye and Simon, with the return of defensive All-Pro and former Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt. When Watt is healthy he is at least able to make up for the departing pass rush and tackles from the two free agents.
However, the biggest hole for this Texans team is now at secondary. Last season, the team was second only to Denver in passing defense. With Demps leading the way, Houston was able to hold passing attacks to only 201 yards per game, and 20 touchdowns.
Where the Texans lacked was forcing turnovers. As a team, the Texans had 11 total picks. Now, Houston has to find someone to make up more than half of that. While the team does have all of that cap space, the market has dried up.
Remaining free agents to fill the secondary holes are now left to the veteran retreads. The team could take a chance on former New York Jets corner, Darrelle Revis. However, his pending legal matter after an alleged fight in the early morning hours in Pittsburgh could hinder his playing ability next season.
There’s the possibility of landing former Dallas Cowboys corner, Brandon Carr. Or, the Texans could take a chance on former Green Bay Packers secondary member, Sam Shields. Both players would be a solid addition to the team, and may make up for Demps and Bouye’s production from 2016.
The Texans have some wiggle room to work out new deals; or the team could make a run in the first-round of the upcoming NFL Draft on a cornerback coming into the league. But, what these offseason departures have shown is that the defense, not quarterback, is right now the most pressing need for the Texans.
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