March 22, 2018

Texans Free Agency: Defensive Possibilities

The Houston Texans will be looking for help this offseason and the defense will need some upgrades to run new Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel’s scheme. The Texans say they will be a multiple look defense but will be based out of the 3-4 defense. The common theme in a Crennel defense is that it starts with the defensive line’s production.

With majority of the need focused on the defensive line, there is depth needs for the Texans as every position.

Here we give 10 possible targets that the Texans could look at on the defensive side of the football that can be reasonably be added to the roster.



10 Defensive Targets

No Particular Order


NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville JaguarsPaul Soliai

6’4 / 340 lbs / Nose Tackle / 30 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

Looking at the Texans new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel’s defense it’s a certainty that he will want a bigger nose tackle than Earl Mitchell. Soliai is a good fit for this position. We have seen Soliai multiple times here in Houston when he played for the Miami Dolphins, he is a big body hard to move and can hold up against double teams. Soliai can rush the passer some, but it isn’t what he was asked to do in Miami, but he clogged up running lanes making it difficult for teams to gain any yards against them. With him in the middle it would help solidify the nose tackle position and allow the Texans to draft a rookie to groom behind him whenever he decides to hang it up. He won’t break the bank due to his age and him not being a pass rusher, but more of a run stuffer. Look for him to ask for a reasonable contract that the Texans can manage for about two or three years and it wouldn’t hinder the Texans cap at all.


131126-thurmond-6001Walter Thurmond III

5’11 / 190 lbs / Cornerback / 26 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

Walter Thurmond is an excellent corner for what the Texans need. Thurmond can play inside at the nickel spot or he can play outside as a boundary corner. What makes Thurmond such a good fit for the Texans is that he could replace Brice McCain as the slot corner and play on the outside if either Kareem Jackson or Jonathan Joseph have injuries. He is a dual-purpose type corner and he played excellent for the Seattle Seahawks while Brandon Browner was suspended. He will be a hot commodity not only for other teams in free agency but for the Seahawks now that Browner could be gone in free agency. The downside of this is his cap number may be too rich for the Texans to absorb, but if you are going to spend the money this would be a good place to start.


Captain-MunnerlynCaptain Munnerlyn

5’8 / 195 lbs / Cornerback / 25 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

The Carolina Panthers are cap strapped and Munnerlyn is expected to hit the free agent market, and he could provide some much needed help in the slot. Munnerlyn has shown he can play inside or outside of the defense and he has a knack for making plays when they count. A durable player who has appeared in 77 games in the past five seasons, he had his best production season in 2013 with 73 total tackles and 2 interceptions where both were returned for touchdowns.

Munnerlyn played the 2013 season under a $1.1 million contract and he could be available for a reasonable price for the Texans.


Washington+Redskins+v+St+Louis+Rams+P_a0Loq_hA4lJosh Wilson

5’9 / 188 lbs / Cornerback / 28 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

The Houston native entering his 8th season could be another option for the slot for the Texans.  A seasoned veteran, Wilson has spent time with the Seahawks, Ravens and the past three seasons with the Redskins where he put together three solid seasons as a starter.

In 2013, Wilson struggled in coverage and gave up a career high 75% completion rate averaging 12.6 a reception against him. He has shown in the past that he can keep receivers under control and playing on a defense that struggled. The struggles could be attributed to the defense in Washington, and getting the former 2nd rounder back to form could happen in a reduced role.


Javier Arenas

media_aebff35bc0a44a818536f8c127468456_t6075’9 / 197 lbs / Cornerback / 26 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

Appearing in 16 games for the Cardinals, the slot cornerback has the ability to return kicks and punts when needed. Drafted by Romeo Crennel in Kansas City, Arenas could make an easy transition to Houston and help out in the slot where he did a fairly decent job in the past.

Arenas could come at a bargain price and with immediate need at the slot corner, this could be a seamless move for the 4 year pro.


NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay BuccaneersKendrick Lewis

6’0 / 198 lbs / Safety / 26 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

Another Romeo Crennel drafted player from 2010, Lewis has been a starter since his rookie year with the Chiefs. A true free safety, Lewis is another plug and play player the Texans could target for the 2014 season to provide some key depth at the safety position or possibly push for a starting spot.


Cam-Thomas-San-Diego-ChargersCam Thomas

6’4 / 330 lbs / Nose Tackle / 27 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

Benched during the season by the Chargers, the 330 lbs. nose tackle that could be bought low and be high reward in the long run. Thomas has enough experience in the 3-4 scheme to be a rotational player in the middle, and get the much needed size that Crennel likes from his defensive line.

More of a depth player and only starting 15 games in four season for the Chargers, Thomas entered the 2013 season as the starter. His value lies in his age and decent depth for a team that needs to remake their entire defensive line for 2014.


Pat Sims (pictured above)

6’2 / 310 lbs / Defensive Tackle / 28 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

A hot and cold defensive lineman, Sims could be added to help out at the defensive end position or nose tackle. Sims has shown he can dominate at times in the run game, but then will disappear from a game in a hurry. He has spent time with the Bengals and Raiders and like majority of the players on the list, the Texans could invest low money for the 6 year pro.

With the Raiders having plenty of cap room, Sims could be brought back with no issues. Sims lit up the final two weeks of the 2013 season for the Raiders, but there is a good chance he can test the market.


461570171-e1392158522778O’Brien Schofield

6’3 / 242 lbs / Outside Linebacker / 26 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

Process of elimination, Schofield should be able to test the market with Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril in front of him. A rotational player when Irvin was serving his suspension O’Brien’s snaps on the field were limited. He played more than expected in the Super Bowl and is considered a pass rush piece depending on the situation.

He hit is stride with the Cardinals in 2012, but was sidelined with an ankle injury that landed him on the injured reserve. Schofield can be a depth outside linebacker that could be pushing for a starting position. Finding pass rushers is key and he provides that with some sound technique in other parts of his game.



2011_1222_HOU248_macht--nfl_large_580_1000Kavell Conner

6’0 / 245 lbs / Inside Linebacker / 27 yrs old / Unrestricted Free Agent

Some injury concerns a groin and ankle led him to miss 6 games for the Colts in 2013. A key special teams contributor, Conner has the ability to run from the inside linebacker position and could provide needed depth to the defense.

A role player, Conner can upgrade the speed and athleticism of the Texans roster which is needed in a big way. Conner is a starter in the pinch and good against the run. Not considered a priority to keep with the Colts, Conner will be able to test the market.


*This free agent list was compiled by PDS, Texan Takeover and Big Ron

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