Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Texans start by keeping some of their own
By Paul Kuharsky
The Texans started out free agency by agreeing to terms that mean they hold on to receiver Jacoby Jones and reserve offensive tackle Rashad Butler.
Here’s John McClain’s report, which says Jones will get a three-year contract worth $10.5 million, with $3.5 million guaranteed, while Butler is in line for two years worth $3.8 million, with a $1.25 million signing bonus.
The focus now should be on fullback Vonta Leach, though it’s unclear what sort of market there is for the fullback beyond Houston.
It’s unclear whom the Texans have inquired about or may be talking to among outside free agents. They are expected to make a splash with at least one big addition for the secondary.
Coach Gary Kubiak said during the lockout that he was happy with Kevin Walter and Jones splitting up the work as the second receiver opposite Andre Johnson. Jones can be a dynamic receiver and returner, but is very inconsistent.
Butler played four mediocre games when left tackle Duane Brown was suspended last year, but is regarded by the club as a quality third tackle.
Leach was a huge part of Arian Foster’s giant year, when the running back led the league in rushing. If they lose him, it appears they’d look to versatile tight end James Casey to fill the spot. While I don’t doubt the effort they’d get from Casey, he’s simply not the same kind of guy and the run game would likely suffer.
Fullbacks don’t generally fare particularly well on the open market, but indications are there are five teams that could be players if the Texans don't get something done soon.