Offseason Overview: Texans Getting Closer to Being an AFC Force

Williams with a rush

Franchise Player: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• DB Roc Alexander missed last season with an injury. He will not be a priority to re-sign in the offseason, but he could provide depth in a weak secondary.

• RB Ron Dayne will likely return as a situational back who is capable of making a handful of solid starts in a season.

• DB Jason Simmons has the versatility to start at every position in the secondary. He also adds leadership the coaches love.

• DB Dexter Wynn can play at cornerback or be used as a returner. He’s solid on kicks and punts. He will likely return.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

• RB Chris Taylor has the Texans high on his potential. He missed all of last season with an injury, but they are hopeful he will be an impact back this season.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• LB Kevin Bentley: UFA Seahawks; $4M/3 yrs, $1M SB.

• RB Chris Brown: UFA Titans; $3.6M/2 yrs, $800,000 SB.

• S Nick Ferguson: UFA Broncos; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• QB Quinn Gray: UFA Jaguars; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

• C Chris Myers: RFA Broncos (trade).

• CB Jacques Reeves: UFA Cowboys; $20M/6 yrs, $4M SB.

• LB Chaun Thompson: UFA Browns; $2.4M/2 yrs, $650,000 SB.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• WR David Anderson: ERFA; terms unknown.

• S C.C. Brown: RFA; tendered at $1.47M; terms unknown.

• TE Mark Bruener: UFA; $870,000/1 yr, $100,000 guaranteed.

• DE Earl Cochran: ERFA; terms unknown.

• WR Andre’ Davis: Potential UFA; $16M/4 yrs, $8M guaranteed.

• S Will Demps: UFA; $4.5M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

• TE Joel Dreessen: ERFA; terms unknown.

• S Glenn Earl: UFA; $$1M/1 yrs, $300,000 SB/$200,000 RB.

• T Brandon Frye: ERFA; terms unknown.

• OT Scott Jackson: Potential RFA; terms unknown.

• DE N.D. Kalu: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• DT Anthony Maddox; RFA; $927,000; terms unknown.

• P Matt Turk: UFA; $2.35M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB.

• RB Darius Walker: ERFA; terms unknown.

• G Fred Weary: UFA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• LB Charlie Anderson: UFA Dolphins; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• LB Shawn Barber (released).

• S/LB Michael Boulware: UFA Vikings; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• LB Danny Clark: UFA Giants; $4M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

• C Mike Flanagan (released).

• CB Von Hutchins: UFA Falcons; $9M/4 yrs, $2.5M.

• DT Cedric Killings: UFA; retired.

• WR Jerome Mathis: Not tendered as RFA/Redskins; terms unknown.

• C Steve McKinney (released/failed physical).

• TE Jeb Putzier (released).

The Texans continued to make strides in 2007, going 8-8, and are hoping despite playing in a tough division that 2008 will bring bigger and better. The team had a rash of injuries, with QB Matt Schaub going down, along with players banged up in the secondary. They are hoping that this season, with being healthy and a little lucky, 10-6 is not out of the question. The team knew it needed to upgrade the secondary, and did so with CB Jacques Reeves from Dallas. They also upgraded the running game with Chris Brown from Tennessee and the drafting to Steve Slaton in the 3rd round from West Virgina.

Houston will look to be more plysical on defense, and they should be with a unit that can make plays on both sides of the ball. Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans will make life tough on QB’s and ball carriers. The question will be can the Texans hang with the best in the South, that being the Colts and Jags. They have the talent, and have made some wise offseason moves to make it look like they will be better, but overall, Houston may still be 1-2 years away from being a legit AFC contender.

Offseason Grade to Date: B+


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