Texans Re-sign CB A.J. Bouye, Free Agency Almost Closed Out

A.J. Bouye
A.J. Bouye
houstontexans.com

Some people like to compare NFL free agency to "speed dating," and in some cases, that is absolutely true. When you're signing another team's highly sought-after free agent, you have virtually no time to get to know him or query him, so it's a total leap of faith. The Texans' signing of Brock Osweiler, to some degree, falls into this category.

I prefer, though, to compare free agency to shopping in an NFL version of Walmart. The first day of free agency is like Black Friday, when everyone barges through the front door, steps on each other and winds up spending way too much on a lot of items that are more likely to disappoint than enthrall. Then, slowly, days go by, shopping must still be done, but the most desirable items have long since been bought, and we're left rummaging through the bin of '80s movies DVDs for like $5.99 apiece. 

That's where we are now in NFL free agency, at the $5.99 DVD bin, and yesterday the Texans re-signed Caddyshack cornerback A.J. Bouye, whom they'd given a tender offer to several days ago. 

In 2015, Bouye seemed to tread water most of the year, as he fell behind rookie Kevin Johnson and incumbents Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson on the depth chart, at times significantly so.  In 2015, he played in 15 games (started two), and tallied six pass breakups and two interceptions. His best season thus far has been 2014, in which he tied for the team lead with three interceptions. 

This would seem to give the Texans quality depth at cornerback headed into the draft with Joseph and Jackson as the starters, Johnson as the nickel corner (and spot starter), and Bouye along with Charles James as backups. This also removes another Texans free agent from the market, with only the following players remaining to be signed, either here or elsewhere (along with likely status):

JARED CRICK, DE (Unrestricted)
On the one hand, Crick is a guy who has started 31 of 32 games the past two seasons. On the other, he had only 5.5 sacks starting opposite J.J. Watt and on the same defense in 2015 as Watt and the 12-sack version of Whitney Mercilus. So while the optimistic view is that Crick has been a solid "lunch pail" guy, the other side is that "lunch pail" is just a euphemism for "not very good." And I'm guessing that's why he's still out there — his people are selling him as a "two-year starter," and the market is like, "Jeez, how many sacks would you have had WITHOUT J.J. Watt as your teammate? Negative four?!?" 

CHRIS POLK, RB (Unrestricted)
Despite Bill O'Brien's gushing over Polk on Hard Knocks, Polk was average to below average for most of 2015 and likely won't be back. I will miss his moxie and funny catchphrases. BANG BANG, CHICKEN AND SHRIMP! 

QUINTIN DEMPS, S (Unrestricted)
Demps was a solid fill-in as a starter after the colossal Rahim Moore failure of 2015. The Texans would like to have him back, but not at anything more than bargain DVD prices. (Put it this way — if Bouye is Caddyshack, then Demps is Stripes.)

BRANDON WEEDEN, QB (Unrestricted)
T.J. YATES, QB (Unrestricted)

I'm guessing Weeden is probably gone now that the pecking order for the Texans at QB appears to be Osweiler, Savage and possibly a late-round rookie, and Weeden showed enough in his brief Texans stint to fool some team into giving him decent backup QB money. Yates is rehabbing an ACL injury and should be there for the taking for the Texans if they want to have him back. 

Here is the Texans' overall activity summary during free agency, courtesy of Texans PR:

Following are the free agents the Texans have signed (5):
S Antonio Allen (6-1, 210, New York Jets)
G Jeff Allen (6-4, 306, Kansas City)
C Tony Bergstrom (6-5, 315, Oakland)
RB Lamar Miller (5-10, 225, Miami)
QB Brock Osweiler (6-8, 240, Denver)

Following are the players the Texans have re-signed (8):
G/T Jeff Adams (6-7, 305)
CB A.J. Bouye (6-0, 191)
T Chris Clark (6-5, 305)
RB Jonathan Grimes (5-10, 209)
CB Charles James (5-9, 179)
P Shane Lechler (6-2, 237)
K Nick Novak (6-0, 198)
S Eddie Pleasant (5-10, 210)

Following are the players the Texans have made qualifying offers to (1):
OLB John Simon (6-1, 252)

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.                  


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