Houston Texans 2022 Unrestricted Free Agent Levels
The Houston Texans enter the offseason with 29 unrestricted free agents. It’s tied for second in the league with the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefsand Indianapolis Colts. He also makes up just over half of the current roster. The Texans should have a cap of $23 million heading into the 2022 season according to Spotrac. They’re sure to bring some new faces, but when half the roster is free to test the open market, you can expect a significant amount of change heading into next season.
Here’s every tier of the Houston Texans
Already back :
Running back Rex Burkhead
Burkhead was a one-hit wonder last season and has been signed for next season. His performance of 149 yards against the Chargers helped him sign a one-year deal through 2022. Burkhead showed he’s not an all-back…he never was. However, he won and fought his way through a muddy backfield and will come in handy to anyone we pick up.
The unavoidable :
Linebacker Christian Kirksey, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill, cornerback Desmond King, center Jimmy Morrissey, defensive tackle Maliek Collins
Defensively oriented obviously with multiple hidden gems here. Morrissey has been a surprise among surprises on the offensive line and if he continues to develop, he could earn the full-time center job. Grugier-Hill’s season was fantastic and was my favorite of the season. He stepped up when the Texans cut Cunningham, as did Kirksey this season. Kirksey or King could be the best defense player in the event of a resignation.
Development depth pieces worth looking at:
Running back Royce Freeman, defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, tight end Antony Auclair, safety AJ Moore, linebacker Neville Hewitt
The running back will again be a priority this offseason. Freeman looked promising at times, but lacked distinct skills for the Texans to place much hope in him. Taylor played well in Houston’s first win over Jacksonville, but was later sidelined on injured reserve. Moore was a guy everyone loves and a better secondary player than most people expect. Hewitt has made good plays on special teams and can be a good substitute.
Nice to have but replaceable:
Tight end Jordan Akins, Offensive tackle Geron Christian Jr., Defensive end DeMarcus Walker, EDGE Jacob Martin
Martin was the only bright spot in Jadeveon Clowney’s trade, which feels like a distant memory at this point. Martin was bumped by second-year defensive end Jonathan Greenard as the leading pass thrower in the final stretch. Tight end Akins was also passed by rookie Brevin Jordan whose playing ability lifted him above the veteran. Walker was a solid rotating defensive end that fitted well into Lovie Smith’s system. Christian Jr. was a tackle all season and pushed Tytus Howard inside to keep.
Madly Replaceable Veterans:
Center Justin Britt, Long Snapper Jon Weeks, wide receiver Danny Amendola, wide receiver Chris Moore, defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, safety Terrence Brooks
Britt was one of the most disappointing concepts this offseason. The Texans were looking to get their money’s worth and received a pawnshop-worthy performance from the veteran center. Weeks has had another strong season, but the 35-year-old center and the longest-serving Texans will likely be done this offseason and ready to return. The duo of Amendola and Moore never materialized and neither was able to secure a very wide receiver position. Johnson didn’t have the season he did last year with the Vikings, but he performed well enough in the offseason to warrant his resignation based on the availability of other players.
Safety Justin Reid, Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Runningback David Johnson, Wide Receiver Chris Conley
Reid has been a pleasure to watch grow and develop, but it’s obvious his time in Houston is over. Taylor should have been more consistent and was hampered by an early injury (again). Johnson needs to put this chapter of his book behind him and find a new home on another team. Conley’s inability to secure the second wide receiver position at times caused the entire offense to crumble.
No names without worries:
Linebacker Tae Davis, cornerback Grayland Arnold, linebacker Eric Wilson, linebacker Hardy Nickerson Jr.
Several of these players saw playing time towards the end of the season, and some could be back on the roster in limited roles next year, but depending on what the new coaching staff is able to cobble together, it can be players who are not there. for a while in Houston.