- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter
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In early March, I outlined a five-category plan for offseason moves for each team in the AFC South.
I considered finances, continuity, turnover, additions and the draft.
Today we’ll look back to see how my plan and the team’s offseason lined up and how they didn’t.
First up are the Texans. Here is the original post.
What I got right:
Finances: "Cut wide receiver Kevin Walter, saving $2.5 million in cap space."
Walter is now with the Titans.
Turnover: "Allow outside linebacker Connor Barwin to leave as a free agent if he gets a good deal. Although it would be nice to keep him, the team is equipped to move on without him and should be able to draft a player who can be the third guy at the position behind Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus."
Barwin jumped to Philadelphia. They drafted two outside linebackers in Sam Montgomery and Trevardo Williams.
"Be done with nose tackle Shaun Cody."
Cody is unsigned.
Hopkins was the team’s first pick.
"Use other early picks on inside linebacker, safety depth and corner/nickel depth."
Safety D.J. Swearinger arrived in the second round, and the team went with outside linebackers, not inside ones, with Montgomery and Williams. No corners, however.
What I got wrong:
Finances: "Restructure the deal of wide receiver Andre Johnson, reducing his base salary from $10.5 million to $940,000 (giving him the rest now as a bonus), resulting in a salary cap savings of $7.17 million. Restructure the deal of cornerback Johnathan Joseph, reducing his base salary from $7.5 million to $940,000 (giving him the rest now as a bonus), resulting in a salary cap savings of $4.373 million. Extend defensive end Antonio Smith, reducing his 2013 base salary of $6 million and his cap charge of $9.5 million significantly."
The team hasn’t restructured or extended anyone yet.
Continuity: "Re-sign safety Glover Quin. The Texans didn’t use the franchise tag on him but would face a tough hole to fill if they let him depart. He’s carved out a good role on this defense, and it would be mutually beneficial for him to stay. In addition to extending Smith and saving money, invest in inside linebacker Brian Cushing, who counts $4.643 against the cap in the final year of his initial deal and is due $3.143 million in base salary."
Quin went to Detroit as a free agent, but the Texans brought in again all-time great Ed Reed to take his place.
Additions: "Sign a free agent defensive tackle like Roy Miller from Tampa Bay. He’s a good run stopper who could replace Cody and be better in tandem with Earl Mitchell in Wade Phillips' 3-4 front, which allows for a smaller nose. Mike DeVito (New York Jets) could also work and wouldn’t have to transition to 3-4 thinking."
Miller wound up in Jacksonville. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is amused at how regularly many of us suggest the team needs a new nose. They are happy with Mitchell as the starter and will look to sixth-rounder Chris Jones as the backup.
In early March, I outlined a five-category plan for offseason moves for each team in the AFC South.I considered finances, continuity, turnover, additions and the draft.