It took the Houston Texans some time to sign their first free agent from outside of the organization, but over two months after the opening of free agency, the Texans inked right tackle Breno Giacomini to a deal. Giacomini joins his former coach from the New York Jets, Mike Devlin, in Houston and is the second offensive lineman from the Jets that Devlin has had a hand in bringing to the team. Oday Aboushi was also coached Devlin at the Jets and subsequently claimed by the Texans, and now Giacomini arrives.
With Giacomini’s arrival, what does it mean for the 2017 season?
1. Chris Clark and Giacomini will slug it out in training camp for the starting right tackle position. The Texans way is to create competition and that is exactly how it is setting up for OTAs to training camp. Clark has his issues, but then he put together his best game of the 2016 season by holding Khalil Mack to a game where he was nonexistent in the wild card round of the playoffs, but there has to he a middle ground for Clark. It is possible that the shoulder he had repaired during the off-season could have been a reason for his struggles. As for Giacomini, he missed majority of the 2016 season with a herniated disc in his back, limiting him to only five games. The recovery from his back surgery took four months, putting him on track to be fully cleared when the Texans take the field for OTAs.
2. Giacomini has to show he can come back from his back injury and has mentioned to New York media that the reason he went for the surgery late last season was to give himself enough time to get ready for the upcoming season. He intended to go back to the Jets but was a cap casualty. With the out of control offensive line market, the Texans waited for the dust to settle before bringing him in. However, given that it is now mid-May and Giacomini is still available is a reason to temper expectations for the time being.
3. The Texans usually take four offensive tackles to the 53-man roster and that means Duane Brown, Chris Clark and Julién Davenport appear to be in good position to be on the roster, while Giacomini will have to hit the ground running in the spring and catch up to what the Texans are doing. Sights fall on Kendall Lamm to step up his game and make a jump entering year three but Giacomini has to show that he can handle what the Texans are giving him offensively. The Texans have made a living under Bill O’Brien bringing in seasoned veterans only to cut them loose when rosters are set during training camp.
4. More than anything, this a firm reminder of how important Derek Newton was to the Texans offense and, despite his issues, was one of the better right tackles in the league. The loss of Newton also means that the Texans will remain vigilant in upcoming drafts and free agency to find a stronger option at right tackle for the long haul to hopefully pair with Davenport for the future.
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