Road Blocks for the Texans: Contracts
In this series we will look at potential road blocks for the Houston Texans heading into the 2012 season. This is part 2 of the series.
If the 2012 off-season was not an eye-opening experience for Houston Texans fans, the 2013 should be no different. The moves made in the off-season were moves to get the Texans’ front office into position to retain some important pieces of the team’s core and stabilize their future for years to come. With some household names packaged and shipped out of Houston, the thought of contracts are in the back of some of the minds of Texans players.
NFL players, like anyone else with a job, just wants stability and most importantly their future to be taken care of. It is probably safe to say that the Texans will get the first crack at their potential free agents. Once again, the Texans are going to have to pick and choose who they are wanting to retain. Contracts can be a distraction, if both sides let it get into that position, and with the team being blindsided after the season with all of the free agents, cuts and the trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, it is going to be fresh in players minds going into the season.
The Texans are not known for striking deals mid-season so expect the majority of contract talk to happen at the end of the season. We grouped the potential 2013 free agent class in level of priority and you will see there are some important parts of the franchise that are up for renewal.
Potential 2013 Texans’ Free Agents
The unfortunate thing is that the Texans will probably only be able to bring back one to two of their top priorities.
Matt Schaub- In T.J. Yates we trust, but Schaub is still the guy to run the offense. Yates needs a couple of more seasons to perfect his craft and Schaub still has some left in the tank.
Connor Barwin- If Barwin posts another double digit sack season, his price tag might be too rich for the Texans. The Whitney Mercilus pick makes all the more sense if Barwin looks elsewhere.
This group is tied into the top priority guys, they will separate their value during the 2012 season.
Brice McCain- A breakout season for McCain in 2011, he proved to be a top-notch slot corner for the Texans. It is hard to find a slot defender to lock down faster wide outs in the middle of the field.
James Casey- The swiss army knife of the Texans offense, Kubiak can manipulate defenses with Casey’s versatility. He can play fullback, tight-end and also lineup as a wide receiver at times.
Glover Quin- One of the more versatile defenders for the Texans but with younger and cheaper options brought in, Quin will have to prove he should be a part of the future.
Tim Jamison- Definitely a high effort player and he can fill the pass rushing need from the 5 technique position. Probably could be signed at a reasonable price to keep the defensive line depth.
There is no real order on who needs to come back out of this group but all of them have their replacements on the team. Honestly, are any of these guys not replaceable?
Troy Nolan- Started the 2011 season off well, filled in during injury then hurt his ankle and could never really get back on track. Took a pay cut this off season to stay in Houston.
Rashad Butler- Two words, Derek Newton.
Antoine Caldwell- Two words, Brandon Brooks.
There will be some thoughts that the contract situation of these players will not effect the Texans this upcoming season, but knowing you are playing for a contract in Houston or somewhere else there is a sense of added pressure to perform. This will be an added issue to an already potentially exciting season for the Texans in 2012, and the less distractions the better. Hopefully these potential free agents can go out and perform without worrying about their contract status.
There will be many pitfalls the Texans will have to avoid, and keeping contract talk on the back burner while they chase a playoff spot will be a task within itself. It is easier said than done and let’s hope that contract talks won’t get in the way of the teams goals of the 2012 season.
If you missed Part One of the Texans’ “Potential Road Blocks”, you can see it here.
You can follow Patrick on Twitter. He is the Editor of State of the Texans and is a draft analyst on Sideline Scouting.