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Stay or Go? A Closer Look at the Houston Texans 2016 Free Agent Class

Who should stay and who should go? A closer look at the Houston Texasn 2016 Free Agents.

The new league year is approaching and the Houston Texans have to start shaping their roster for the 2016 season. We take a look at the sixteen players the organization need to make a decisions on in the near future. 

Here is a look at the Texans current free agents and what State of the Texans think should be the outcome with the free agent group.

Specialist 


Name
Position FA Status Stay or Go? Notes
Shane Lechler P UFA Flip a Coin

This is all about Shane Lechler and what he wants. It begins with whether he wants to sign a team friendly deal. Although he was able to put 24 punts inside the 20 yard line, it felt like Lechler struggled at times, with 60 punts returned on him totaling the second most of his career. The Texans could probably find a youthful replacement but Bill O’Brien values what Lechler brings to the field and locker room.

Nick Novak K UFA Go

An in season replacement for Randy Bullock who was cut, Nick Novak was a safe play for the Texans. He is accurate under 50 yards but he struggles with 50+ yard kicks and kickoffs. His lack of leg led to returned kickoffs where, when comparing to other teams’ kickers, the ball is routinely kicked out of the back of the end zone. The Texans need to improve their special teams and new kicker is a start

Defense

Name Position FA Status Stay or Go? Notes
Charles James CB ERFA Stay

A low cost move that can will have a solid return. James can help on both special teams and defense in a pinch. Add in the fact he is a solid locker room and football player, he will be welcomed back. 

A.J. Bouye

CB RFA Stay

Bouye is a key depth piece for the Texans and his restricted status keeps his contract reasonable. Bouye took starter snaps the past two seasons but has to even out his highs and lows as a player. He is entering his 4th season in the NFL.

Justin Tuggle ILB RFA Go

The Texans moved on from Tuggle mid-season, but he could be an asset to another team. A versatile player who is still learning the position, Tuggle worked in nickel and dime packages plus on special teams. Athleticism is not Tuggle’s issue, that the Texans are looking for younger options at the position is the issue. Tuggle will have a new home in 2016.

Eddie Pleasant S RFA Stay

In another easy move for the Texans, bringing back Eddie Pleasant will be good for both the defense and special teams. He is a solid third safety who fits into the box to cover backs and tight ends with his speed. When adding in his experience on special teams, a restricted free agent tender should be in order for Pleasant.

Darryl Morris CB RFA Stay

The Texans might opt to go younger here and, with three front line players at the position, the team can choose to go either direction. Getting solid players into camp is key and Morris knows the system, having been with the team the past two seasons. Tendering him costs nothing and getting him to training camp to compete is the smart move here. 

Quintin Demps S UFA Flip a Coin

The Texans have struck out trying to land a free safety over the past few season. First, Ed Reed and, last season, Rahim Moore. Quintin Demps saved the day in 2015, with a friendly contract and solid play. Whether the Texans see Demps as a rental is yet to be seen, but the way the team moved on from Kendrick Lewis so quickly makes Demps’ future here in question. Built for the 3-4 defense, Demps could be upgraded but the Texans have struggled finding that player. 

Jared Crick DE UFA Go

The Texans need to upgrade the defensive end position and while Jared Crick has been adequate, he is not a game changer. There are better pass rushers on the team which limited Crick into a role as a two-down player, but he has shown he can rush when needed. A loaded defensive end group pushes his value down some but there are upgrades available to be had for the Texans.

Offense

Name Position FA Status Stay or Go? Notes
Nate Washington WR UFA Go

His stats say Washington was productive but he was plagued by drops and some health issues in 2015. With second-year wide out Jaelen Strong waiting in the wings, moving to the younger and cheaper option seems to be the wise move for the Texans and the team will likely let Washington walk after one year

Chris Polk RB UFA Go

The Texans will be looking to upgrade at running back and with a lackluster dynamic at the position, work has to be done. Polk’s playing time was dictated on Alfred Blue and, with a chance other backs to be drafted or signed, Polk will be the odd man out. 

Brandon Weeden QB UFA Go

He showed some hope and promise in the two games he played for the Texans but as Weeden is set to be a free agent, he could be looking for more. With Brian Hoyer still on the roster, there is reason to believe Hoyer will be on the team in 2016. The Texans can think about keeping Hoyer but there is no reason to believe they will keep both Hoyer and Weeden. It will be one or the other for the Texans, with signs pointing to Hoyer. 

T.J. Yates QB UFA Go

T.J. Yates was a free agent for the majority of the 2015 season before the Texans called him up to join the them. After a torn ACL for Yates and with the team going in a different direction at the position, it becomes an easy move for the Texans improve their depth at quarterback minus Yates.

Chris Clark OT UFA Stay

Clark is a good veteran and can play either the right or left tackle for the Texans. He could be a spot starter for the upcoming season with Duane Brown healing with a torn quad. Clark is almost an essential player to bring back given Brown’s early health concerns. He would be a low cost veteran who understands what is expected of him. 

Jonathan Grimes RB RFA Stay

The Texans will have competition in at camp and tendering Grimes is the start. He produced when he was on the field and, with Arian Foster’s injury, keeping Grimes seems like a no-brainer. Having depth is key plus with injuries and nothing being written in stone, bringing Grimes to camp is the way to go.

Ben Jones C UFA Stay

The Texans most consistent offensive lineman, Ben Jones was instrumental in providing stability and helping the players shuffled through the revolving doors at quarterback feel at ease with reading opposing defensive fronts. Jones is solid in both run blocking and pass protection, and having a stable center is key for any offensive line. The Texans top priority for 2016 is to get Jones back on the roster. 

Brandon Brooks OG UFA Flip a Coin

The Texans will discuss at length what they should do with Brooks for the near future. He has potential to be a top guard in the league but there is another step up left in his game with the skill set he has as a guard. With this particular free agent guard group, money will be spent on the top tier of the position. Letting Brooks test the market could be the way to go to see whether that price tag fits what the Texans want to do. 

Jeff Adams OT ERFA Stay

 Adams suffured a right knee injury about mid-sesaon which left the Texans offensive line looking for answer. His natrual position is right tackle and he can help there when healthy. Bringing him back for camps to see how he has progressed from his injury will be good to see where he is at with little money to invest in him. 


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