With the Houston Texans entering the new league year hovering around $24 million in cap space, Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Rick Smith is comfortable with where the Texans are financially heading into 2017. Smith credits the work of Chris Olsen (VP of Football Operations) and Kevin Krajcovic (Football Administration Coordinator) on managing the salary cap and negotiating contracts.
"I do feel like we’ll be able to do whatever we want to do,” Smith said of the upcoming off-season in regards to the salary cap. Currently in the middle of the NFL Combine, Smith is focused on the prospects at hand and, with the combine moved back on the calendar, the coaching staff had an extra week to prepare for the prospects in Indianapolis.
The Texans have finished their evaluations of the current roster to prepare them for their targets of interest for the draft and assess the potential free agent class coming up when the new league year starts.
“We’ll leave here next week and all of a sudden free agency is going to be on you pretty quick, but I think we’re prepared,” Smith said of what is ahead for the organization when they leave the combine.
Even with Brock Osweiler’s $19 million cap hit in 2017 on the books, Smith maintains that the contract is flexible enough for the Texans to continue to operate as a team pushing for bigger things this coming season.
“What we try to do from a salary cap management perspective is we try to write contracts that do a couple of things – that are good deals for both sides, that allow the team to maintain our flexibility to continue to improve because we’re constantly trying to improve our football team and that’s the bottom line,” Smith explained.
The Texans have expressed interest in re-signing A.J. Bouye and trying to extend both DeAndre Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney to keep them on the roster for the foreseeable future. Even with the Texans opening the checkbook in the 2016 off-season, there is room for the team to be aggressive going into 2017 to fill some roster issues.
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