On Thursday morning, I posted about five burning questions I had for the Houston Texans' brass with respect to the roster and some of the areas that still needed to be addressed. The third question was this one about the safety position:
How about a safety to backfill the mass exodus at that spot?
The Texans did pick up a couple of defensive backs in the draft, taking Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson in the second round and Central Michigan cornerback Xavier Crawford in the sixth, but this does not address the exodus of capable bodies at the safety position this offseason. Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson left for big money in free agency, and Andre Hal retired. Right now, the third safety behind Tashaun Gipson and Justin Reid would come from a bunch of 2018 street free agents and waiver pickups that are here largely for their special teams ability.
Well, I'll be damned if the Texans' brass wasn't reading my post from Thursday morning (NOTE: There is NO chance that the Houston Texans' brass was reading my post from Thursday morning.) because Thursday afternoon they announced the signing of soon to be seventh year safety Jahleel Addae, now formerly of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Addae, 29, spent the last six seasons with the Chargers, starting 59 of a possible 80 career regular season games, including all 16 games in each of the last two seasons. Addae was a fixture for the Chargers in each of the past two seasons, notching the most defensive snaps of any Charger over that time, and finishing fourth on the team in total tackles in 2018 with 75. For his career. Addae has tallied 356 total tackles (271 solo), 21 passes defensed, two interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown), 4.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 16 total special teams tackles in his career.
Addae began his career as an undrafted free agent in 2013, out of Central Michigan, making him the second former Chippewa defensive back that the Texans have added in the past week, with 2019 sixth round pick Xavier Crawford being the first.
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Although very different stylistically than former Texans safety Andre Hal, it is expected that Addae will fill Hal's spot on the depth chart as the third safety behind Justin Reid and newly acquired Tashaun Gipson. Hal, with his cornerback background, was more of a free safety, while Addae is more of a box safety, whose strength is in defending the run game.
With the addition of Addae, the Texans have turned over nearly the entire secondary that saw the field last season, with Reid being the only returning safety of note (apologies, Mike Tyson), and with Johnathan Joseph and Aaron Colvin being the only notable cornerbacks to return. For a defense that ranked 19th against the pass in DVOA, and a team that plays a far more difficult schedule in 2019, the turnover in the secondary is definitely not a bad thing.