Early Look at the 2013 Texans Roster
The off-season is officially underway with the Super Bowl in the books and the 2013 NFL season starting before we know it. We decided to look at the Houston Texans and what their current roster looks like, including the players under contract and current free agents.
An early look at the Texans’ roster leads us to believe that there is plenty of work to be put into the 2013 training camp roster. Breaking down the players on the team, we have tried to identify who we feel are the players that will be on the 2013 roster and the players who could be in danger of not making the roster. In 2011, there were 22 players who appeared on the 53 man roster during that season that did not suit up for the Texans in 2012. Expect the same number of players not to be in a Texans uniform in 2013 from the 2012 roster.
Performance or current contract plays into who falls into the “In The Air” or “Concern” columns on our list. In our free agent list, we listed in yellow the players who we think have a shot to come back to the team and in red the ones on the way out.
There is a decent chance that this team could have some new faces surrounding their core players during the 2013 season.
Current 2013 Roster Breakdown
Running Backs (2)
Tight end (3)
Wide Receiver (6)
Offensive Line: Center (1), Center/Guard (2), Guard (2), Tackle (3)
Defensive Line: Defensive End (6) Nose Tackle (2)
Linebackers: Inside (3) Outside (4)
Secondary: Cornerback (4) Safety (3)
Long Snapper (1)
Note: Players in purple and italics are practice squad eligible.
Despite Ben Tate being in the doghouse late in the season, there is no reason the Texans won’t keep him around especially with his trade value at an all time low. Tate will have more value for the Texans after the 2013 season as a free agent and possibly compensatory pick coming for him if he signs elsewhere. Tate is valuable when he is being used as a part of this offense and 2013 could be a huge year for Tate in the pay check department.
In the Air
Antonio Smith, Kevin Walter and Wade Smith are reasons for concern especially with their contract numbers and age. Wade Smith is probably the safest of the three veterans and, throwing in a Pro Bowl selection, he has been a vital piece on the left side of the offensive line. Despite the Pro Bowl selection, 2012 seemed to be a down season at certain points for him. Antonio Smith and Walter are on the wrong side of 30 and their contract numbers are road blocks in the overall cap numbers. Smith is due $6 million with a cap hit of $9.8 in his final year of his deal while Walter’s base is $3.5 million with $4.5 for his cap hit. Smith could be extended to lower his cap number while Walter has a chance of being released outright.
T.J. Yates has turned into a reason for concern especially with the addition of Stephen McGee, which is starting to create a log jam at the quarterback position. Yates was anointed as the quarterback of the future after his magical rookie season but rumors have been heating up that the Texans could be drafting a quarterback.
Darryl Sharpton has questions surrounding him especially with his injuries that have landed him on the injured reserve in three consecutive seasons. A shoulder in 2010, a quadricep in 2011, and 2012 hip injury have cut his seasons short and held him to 27 career games. Injuries may have forced the Texans’ hand with Sharpton’s future in Houston.
Case Keenum has now been pushed to the 4th quarterback and if another quarterback is added through the draft his time could be coming to an end. A practice squad quarterback, Keenum will have to take some big steps this offseason to keep his NFL career going.
Houston fans have been after the special teams captain Shiloh Keo and he has been a roster filler since being drafted in 2011. Keo is limited in speed and overall ability and he will be on the bubble once camp opens up for 2013.
Make no mistake, Lestar Jean was a big disappointment during the 2012 season and right now he is on the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart. It is almost certain the Texans will be bringing in more wide receivers to find more play makers for the offense. Jean will have his work cut out for him and be back to fighting for a roster spot.
We highlighted the six free agents that the Texans should look at for the 2013 season. Glover Quin will find out that he will be offered some decent money on the open market which leads us to believe the Texans’ #1 priority of the offseason could be somewhere else to start the 2013 season. Alan Ball, Tim Dobbins and James Casey could all be brought back at a decent salary number and are above average roster players who can help in spots, especially on special teams.
You can follow Patrick on Twitter. He is the Editor of State of the Texans.