May 27, 2024

Should the Houston Texans Re-Sign Blake Cashman or Explore Other Linebacker Options in Free Agency? The Houston Texans surpassed expectations in 2023, thanks in no small part to standout performances throughout the team. One of the most surprising contributors was linebacker Blake Cashman, who emerged unexpectedly as a key player in the heart of Houston’s defense. Despite being traded for a mere sixth-round pick in 2022 after spending his first three years with the New York Jets, Cashman flourished under the guidance of linebacker expert DeMeco Ryans, now the Texans’ head coach. As a pending free agent, Houston faces a crucial decision regarding the future of its linebacker corps.

Blake Cashman Is Back and 'Ready to Rock'

Pro Football Focus indicates that only five qualified linebackers graded higher than Cashman, making him one of the top performers on the team, surpassed only by cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. Cashman’s standout moment was a remarkable 19-tackle game against the Arizona Cardinals, showcasing his consistent impact throughout the season. While extending Cashman, projected to cost $4.25 million annually for two years according to PFF, seems like a straightforward solution, the Texans may explore other options in the free-agent market. One potential candidate is Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr., who boasts a first-round pedigree and impressive athleticism. However, Murray lacks the breakout season that his athleticism suggested, raising concerns about his eye discipline and physicality against the run. Another consideration is Denver Broncos linebacker Josey Jewell, who, despite potential athletic limitations, offers a reliable downhill presence and consistent tackling compared to many available options.

While there is a possibility that Cashman’s breakout performance could lead to a larger contract or concerns about his limited track record, he exemplifies the Ryans administration’s ability to maximize linebacker potential. In today’s pass-heavy league, where dynamic quarterbacks pose challenges to defenses, Cashman’s skill set and presumed price tag align well with the Texans’ needs. Ultimately, the decision to re-sign Cashman or explore alternatives will play a crucial role in shaping the Texans’ linebacker unit for the upcoming season.

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