I will be doing a series of articles that will be taking a methodical team by team approach to next year’s possible free agents. I will be starting with the team that has the least amount of salary cap space and ending with the team with the most. I will try to give a brief description of as many of the possible free agents as I can. I will also be looking for players that might be salary cap cuts in order for their teams to make room to sign some of these possible free agents. Any information anyone else can contribute on these players would be very much appreciated.
The Houston Texans are projected to be $18,830,902 UNDER the cap (all salary info via Over The Cap) for 2017 and have 52 players under contract. AJ Bouye and John Simon are the only players of note and I don’t see the Texans having any trouble re-signing them.
Dollar figures listed are player’s 2016 cap hit.
34DT Vince Wilfork - $5,500,000
Vince Wilfork is 35 years old and was originally drafted in by the Patriots in the first round of the 2004 draft. Wilfork is at the end of a two year contract with the Texans, after spending the first eleven seasons of his illustrious career with the Patriots. I would hope we would shy away from bringing in a 35 year old nose tackle no matter how illustrious his career has been. I am all for getting some veteran experience on the defensive line, but Wilfork may be a bit too experienced.
ILB Akeem Dent - $2,562,500
Akeem Dent is 29 years old and was originally drafted by the Falcons in the third round of the 2011 draft and was traded to the Texans for TJ Yates in 2014. I think his six tackles this year and 18 tackles last year tell us everything we need to know. Maybe he would be a better backup than what we have?
P Shane Lechler - $1,800,000
Shane Lechler is 40 years old and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2000 draft. Considering the 49ers have Bradley Pinion in place, I highly doubt we even glance his way.
CB AJ Bouye - $1,671,000
AJ Bouye is 25 years old and was picked up as an undrafted free agent by Houston in 2013. Bouye has 46 tackles, one sack and 11 passes defended this year. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the third best cornerback in the NFL this season.
34OLB John Simon - $1,671,000
John Simon is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He was waived at the end of August in 2014, and then picked up by the Texans in October. Simon has 50 tackles so far this season and 3.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus has him listed as the 46th best edge rusher so far this season. Let me think? Would I rather have Carradine or Simon?
S Quintin Demps - $1,470,000
Quintin Demps is 31 years old and was originally drafted by the Eagles in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. He seems a little old for a safety to me. We already have a safety with a walker that we need to replace.
34DE Antonio Smith - $494,118
Antonio Smith is 35 years old and was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2004 draft. I hope you don’t mind my quickly passing over these rather aged players. We are not shopping for fine wines at the moment.
K Nick Novak - $680,000
Nick Novak is 35 years old and was originally picked up by the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He is in his ninth season.
RB Jonathan Grimes - $900,000
Jonathan Grimes is 26 years old and was picked up by the Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Grimes has 13 carries for 80 yards in 2016.
34DE Devon Still - $467,000
Devon Still is 27 years old and was originally picked up by the Bengals in the second round of the 2012 draft. The Bengals cut Still at the end of August in 2014 and placed him on the practice squad to help pay for his daughter’s cancer treatment. After making it back to the 53 man roster, he was again released in September of 2015 and was picked up by the Texans in January of 2016. Great story but I think we have plenty of better defensive ends.
S Don Jones - $436,765
Don Jones is 26 years old. He was originally drafted by the Dolphins in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, and was waived in August of 2014. Jones was picked up in October of this year after short stays with the Saints and Browns.
LG Oday Aboushi - $675,000
Oday Aboushi is 25 years old and was originally drafted by the Jets in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. Aboushi was released by the Jets in September of 2015 and claimed by the Ravens a day later. I don’t even see any stats on him.
LT David Quessenberry - $178,363
David Quessenberry is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Texans in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. He has spent the season on the NFL list while continuing his recovery from lymphoma.
TE Ryan Griffin - $694,670
Ryan Griffin is 26 years old and was drafted by the Texans in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. Griffin has 38 receptions for 328 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the 54th best tight end in the NFL this season, behind both McDonald and Celek.