Texans Host Former Dolphins WR Brian Hartline
On Monday, after our show was over, we were in our post-show meeting in our program director's office when my cohost, Ted Johnson, openly expressed his frustration with how boring the Texans have been so far this offseason.
"Why don't they make any moves, man?" Ted asked, rhetorically. "It makes it so hard to cover this team for five hours a day on the radio."
Almost as if the radio content gods had heard Ted's plea, 15 minutes after our meeting ended came the news that Andre Johnson and the Texans would be parting ways. One day later, it was the Texans' release of Chris Myers that carried us.
Ask and ye shall receive, Ted!
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So with a couple of longtime mainstays leaving town, it's about time the Texans begin the process of replacing them and/or upgrading the roster's talent level overall. To that end, they finally entertained a guest over at NRG Stadium on Thursday.
Wide receiver Brian Hartline, who was released by the Miami Dolphins in a cost-cutting move last week, flew to Houston yesterday to visit the Texans and reportedly take a physical, a good sign that the Texans are firmly in the mix for his services.
Hartline, 28, was drafted in the fourth round by the Dolphins in 2009, and had his best seasons in 2012 and 2013, going over 70 catches and 1,000 yards receiving in each of those seasons and establishing himself as a solid target for Ryan Tannehill. However, in 2014, he saw his targets drop significantly as the offense centered more around Mike Wallace, Jarvis Landry and tight end Charles Clay. In 2014, Hartline caught 39 balls for 474 yards.
With a salary of $5.95 million due to him in 2015, the Dolphins chose to move in a different direction and released the sixth-year wideout. Hartline has received significant interest from the Cleveland Browns, and the feeling is somewhat mutual, with Hartline having played his college ball at Ohio State. The Bears have also had Hartline in for a visit.
It's believed the Texans would like Hartline to sign a deal before leaving town, as the New England Patriots (the Xanadu for white wide receivers) reportedly are lurking in the weeds.
Hartline's signing would be the first step in rebuilding a receiving corps that, after the release/trade of Johnson, will be DeAndre Hopkins and a whole bunch of nothing -- Damaris Johnson (scrap-heap pickup last season), Keshawn Martin (specialty is making fair catches) and DeVier Posey (missing since September; if you've seen him, please call NRG Stadium's main number and ask for "O.B."). Hartline would not be replacing Andre Johnson, but merely upgrading the talent level of a depth chart that is extremely top-heavy at the moment.
The Texans certainly have the money to spend, with nearly $30 million in cap space after whatever move that sends Johnson out of town is executed. The league's business year begins on Saturday, the first day that free agents can negotiate with teams other than their previous team.
That's when the fun will really begin.
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