• Brian L. Barefield

Big Splash: The Texans Come Up Huge in Free Agency

The Houston Texans did not dive right into the deep end of the pool when the NFL free agency market opened. They took their time. Texans general manager Brian Gaine, who replaced former general manager Rick Smith, let the city of Houston know exactly who he was by making some key moves to improve the team.

Going into the off-season, the Texans had many questions to answer and holes to fill. One of the major needs was on the offensive line. With rookie sensation QB Deshaun Watson returning from injury this year, the team needed to bring in some players who would be able to protect the future franchise player. The departure of Duane Brown (traded to Seattle) during the season left a lot of unanswered question on the line. Houston also had a lot of salary cap room (62.4 M) that they could use to help fill voids. That is helpful since they don’t pick until the third round (68th) due to trades that allowed them to acquire Watson.

Within the span of two days, the Texans went out and found some offensive line help in the form of two guards and one right tackle. Zach Fulton (G) comes to Houston after a stint with the Kansas City Chiefs. His versatility will make it easy for the Texans to move him to center. Senio Kelemete (G) is a very talented offensive lineman who the New Orleans Saints did not want to see get away. The 6’3 300-pound lineman has the potential to become one of the best linemen in the league. Houston also went out and signed Seantrel Henderson (RT) out of Buffalo who had been a starter for them back in the 2014-15 season before injury and a substance abuse violation hindered his career. Henderson will have an opportunity to display what made him such a good offensive lineman for the Texans next year.

For as much as Houston needed help on the offensive side of the ball, they were also in dire need of help on the defensive side as well. After suffering injuries on the defensive line and the departure of long time Houston favorite LB Brian Cushing, the team needed to do something to improve a unit that ranked last in total defense and gave up 237 passing yards per game last year.

In a very well calculated move, the team brought back veteran defensive back Jonathan Joseph and signed Aaron Colvin from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Those were transactions that were expected. What the fans of Houston did not see coming was the signing of all-pro defensive back Tyron Mathieu who had been cut by the Arizona Cardinals. Mathieu, will not only bring his dynamic cover skills but will show why he was one of the league’s best tacklers against the run.

No better way for GM Brian Gaine to win over the Texans fans than by making a “Big Splash.”

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