May 22, 2024

Preview of Texans’ Free Agency: Key Re-signing Priorities

As the Houston Texans conclude their first season under coach DeMeco Ryans and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, they have surpassed expectations with a 10-7 record and a playoff victory, a significant improvement from the previous 3-13-1 season.

C.J. Stroud

While boasting a promising young core led by C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr., the Texans face the challenge of several players entering unrestricted free agency. With approximately $66 million in projected salary cap space, the fifth-highest in the league according to spotrac, Houston is positioned for strategic moves in the offseason.

Here are some notable unrestricted free agents for the Texans and potential re-signing priorities:

  1. DE Jonathan Greenard Jonathan Greenard, a defensive end and 2020 third-round pick, significantly elevated his stock in a contract year, recording a career-high 12.5 sacks. Coach Ryans acknowledged Greenard’s impactful contributions, expressing a desire to build on the 26-year-old’s success. While the best defensive ends command high salaries, Greenard’s performance warrants a more substantial contract than his previous $1.1 million deal.
  2. DT Sheldon Rankins Having signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal last offseason, Sheldon Rankins proved instrumental in Houston’s defensive front, registering six sacks and nine tackles for loss. Given his familiarity with Ryans’ defensive scheme from their time with the New York Jets, Rankins could be a key piece to retain.
  3. LB Blake Cashman Linebacker Blake Cashman emerged as a defensive force, leading the team with 106 total tackles and earning a notable Pro Football Focus grade. While not as expensive as other free agents, the 27-year-old is likely to attract interest from multiple teams following his standout season.
  4. TE Dalton Schultz Tight end Dalton Schultz, one of Stroud’s top receiving targets, contributed significantly with 59 catches, 635 yards, and five touchdowns. Considering the absence of a standout tight end in free agency, re-signing Schultz emerges as a logical choice, especially if there are no plans to elevate Brevin Jordan to a starting role.
  5. WR Noah Brown Wide receiver Noah Brown achieved a career-high in receiving yards with 567 and played a crucial role in Stroud’s passing game. While not as essential as other free agents due to the presence of Tank Dell and Nico Collins, retaining Brown could add depth to the receiving corps.
  6. K Ka’imi Fairbairn Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn showcased consistency and excellence, making 27-of-28 field goals with a long of 54 yards. Despite a mid-season injury leading to the temporary addition of Matt Ammendola, Fairbairn’s proven track record over the past two seasons positions him as a valuable asset for the Texans.

As Houston navigates the free agency landscape, strategic re-signings will play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the team’s competitive edge.

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