With the Tony Romo situation now in the rear view mirror, the Houston Texans can now move forward toward the NFL Draft while continuing to assess the next tier of quarterbacks. The Texans quarterback situation has been set up in phases, with the first step being to wait for the Romo situation to play out then take the next step. That next step is to determine whether either Colin Kaepernick or Jay Cutler are potential fits for the organization. Despite what is being said on the outside, the Texans are working to find out if either quarterback could take the team in the direction in which they want to go . At the current time, no quarterback is off the table, according to a source close to the situation.
Let's start with the obvious. The Texans are taking a public stand that both Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden are quarterbacks that they are happy to have. Reading between the lines, if the Texans were truly sold on Savage being the option at the position, there would be no need to kick the tires on Romo, sign Brock Osweiler prior to the 2016 season, or place him on the injured reserve in 2015 to see Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett for the long haul. The Texans continue to say the right things and are quick to point out that Savage needs to stay healthy but this is lining up for another season of a new face or faces in the quarterback room for 2017.
If we backtrack some, Bill O'Brien had positive words on Kaepernick in an interview with Pro Football Talk during the owner's meeting, "He’s a good football player, he can run, he’s been coached well by (Jim) Harbaugh and Chip Kelly. Those guys are excellent coaches, so you know the background that he has. We’ll continue to discuss all the positions on our team, but we’ve definitely watched him.” (Read More Here)
Remember that O'Brien is a close friend of Kaepernick's former coach Chip Kelly, and if there is anything that he wants to know about the signal caller, that information is just a phone call away. The Texans will no doubt have to vet Kaepernick and make sure his contract demands and other issues match with what the organization wants. Despite so much focus on Kaepernick and his political stands, he has shown on the football field that he can produce, lead teams to the Super Bow,l and most importantly, he has shown that he is a leader in the locker room. Kaepernick was chosen by his San Francisco teammates in 2016 as the Len Eshmont Award winner for the teammate that embodied "inspirational and courageous play." There are plenty of factors concerning Kaepernick that will no doubt be in focus but he would be a clear upgrade to the position group.
As for Jay Cutler, the narrative remains that he doesn't care about the game and is a bad teammate. His former offensive coordinator with Chicago, now Miami head coach Adam Gase had a different story to tell about his time with Cutler.
“My experience with him was very good,” Gase told ESPN (Read Here). “I don’t get all the hatred towards him. I see a guy that worked hard and did everything he could to help his team win. He sacrificed his body. To me, he was an athletic quarterback that can throw the ball. When you got to third down you could call the worst play possible and he would get the conversion. He made a lot of things that we did look really good. I think he has a lot to offer a team.”
A starter for his entire career, Cutler would also be an upgrade to what the Texans currently offer at the position. Much like Kaepernick, Cutler has his issues but now it turns into how he can fit with the Texans and be ok with the situation in front of him.
Both Cutler and Kaepernick are free agents for a reason but with no real safety net for the team's situation and given Savage's injury history, the Texans' options are dwindling.
With so many quarterback needs across the NFL, the Texans can not control the draft and how things shake out in front of them but they can control their own moves now. With the uncertainty of the April draft, the Texans are looking at the next group of quarterbacks to help alleviate pressure on the group.
Whether the Texans pull the trigger on either of the options is yet to be seen but the discussions are ongoing to improve their quarterback group for 2017 and those option include both Kaepernick and Cutler.
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