Houston Texans: A Position-by-Position Primer to Free Agency

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Houston Texans: A Position-by-Position Primer to Free Agency
Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

The Houston Texans had the worst record in the NFL last season, which automatically turns on the “open for business” sign when it comes to free agents.

The disaster that was 2013 exposed so many holes in their roster they may not have the means to patch them all. Control of the first selection in every round of the 2014 draft is essential in making repairs, even though this tool has its flaws.

On the one hand, the players selected in the draft should be brimming with talent and promise. On the other, none of them will have a lick of professional experience.

Texans owner Bob McNair expects first-time NFL head coach Bill O’Brien to pull off a rapid reversal of fortune, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. That will take more than general manager Rick Smith deciding whether Teddy Bridgewater or Jadeveon Clowney is worthy of being the top pick.

The last time Smith tried to make a big splash in free agency, it ended up in a belly flop by the name of Ed Reed. The sudden firing of pro scouting director Brian Gardner last week sent a clear signal that kind of incompetence will have dire consequences.

Smith is already dealing with a short deck in terms of cap space. OvertheCap.com has Houston committed to $125,235,430 in total compensation for 2014. When this year’s salary cap is finally announced, it is not expected to exceed $128 million by the calculations of former agent Joel Corry.

It will require the releases of some current players and re-negotiations with others to be able to pursue veterans from other teams. Once that leeway has been achieved, these are some names that should be on their list.

 

All salary and cap information courtesy of Spotrac.com.

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