This was the cap situation league wide at the beginning of the day on Monday:
Some of these numbers have changed a bit over the last 24 hours, but the gist remains the same — this is the first FUN offseason of the Nick Caserio Era as general manager of the Houston Texans!
The 5 teams with the most cap space entering free agency:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 12, 2023
1. Bears: $72,745,262
2. Falcons: $62,926,591
3. Raiders: $42,100,788
4. Texans: $40,653,051
5. Bengals: $35,084,353
Note: the Bears’ total includes D.J. Moore’s cap hit, the Texans’ doesn’t include Robert Woods’ unknown… https://t.co/wmftb6zH4F
With that said, there are certain positions that are best targeted in free agency and some that make more sense to address via the 11 draft picks the Texans currently own. One of those is a veteran quarterback to mentor the new QB the Texans plan to select in the draft. On Monday, they found the perfect guy for that role — former Texan and former University of Houston quarterback Case Keenum.
Keenum spent last season backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo, and this will be the eighth stop of his 12 year NFL career. Keenum went undrafted in 2012, and was signed by the Texans. His first eight starts of his career came during the disastrous 2013 season, where he went 0-8. He returned to the Texans for two starts at the end of 2014, and went 2-0.
His most famous stop of his career came in 2017, where his one season as the Vikings starter culminated with the Minneapolis Miracle in a playoff win over the Saints. The following offseason, he received a two year, $36 million deal from the Denver Broncos. This signing would seem to be further indication the Texans plan to select a QB high in this coming draft, and if we're into body types, maybe signals that Bryce Young could be the choice, considering his size similarity to Keenum.
Here are the three other needs where I think the Texans should spend some of that cap space:
Running back complement to Dameon Pierce
Last year this role was filled by Rex Burkhead, which is completely unacceptable. No disrespect to Burkhead; it's not his fault that Pep Hamilton thought he should be getting key touches on short yardage situations, and at times, displacing Pierce from the rotation altogether (although that dynamic subsided as the season wore on). A veteran running back with some juice, particularly in Bobby Slowik's offensive system, will help Pierce with the workload and a young QB with a security blanket.
MOST LOGICAL NAMES AVAILABLE: Damien Harris, Alexander Mattison
Steady, veteran center on the offensive line
A steady, smart veteran center on the offensive line should have two very positive effects. First and foremost, it will benefit your young quarterback tremendously, having a good mind there to help diagnose things at the line of scrimmage. Secondly, it should have a positive impact on second year left guard (and former first round pick) Kenyon Green, who struggled mightily in his rookie season.
MOST LOGICAL NAMES AVAILABLE: Connor McGovern (NYJ), Ben Jones
Veteran safety alongside Jalen Pitre
Pitre had a very solid, at times spectacular rookie season, but the other safety spot, mostly occupied by Jonathan Owens, was a bit of a mess. A savvy veteran to quarterback the defense would provide a huge boost, and would allow Pitre to be used more like he was at Baylor, roaming all over the field, and moving up toward the line of scrimmage to make plays.
MOST LOGICAL NAMES AVAILABLE: Jimmie Ward, Juan Thornhill
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