Did these moves doom the Texans?

Grantland's Bill Barnwell knows a lot of things, and today he took a look at the Texans' fall and attempted to explain why.

Barnwell examined what he considers bad moves made by the Texans.

He listed the contracts given to receiver Kevin Walter and linebacker DeMeco Ryans in 2010, Johnathan Joseph in 2011, Arian Foster and Matt Schaub in 2012, and Ed Reed and Brian Cushing in 2013.

Barnwell isn't saying these players weren't worth signing. Rather, he goes through some of the reasons the timing and structure of their contracts isn't ideal for the Texans.

He notes that a general manager as skilled as Rick Smith should have easily been able to find a comparable replacement for Walter, who didn't cost as much. He says the Texans extended Foster's deal too soon, and could have had the leverage to sign him at a lower rate if they waited.

Further, Barnwell critiques the decisions to let Mario Williams and right guard Mike Brisiel go, and the one to draft kicker Randy Bullock.

"It's certainly a frustrating situation for Texans fans," Barnwell concludes. "Smith is a good general manager, and every general manager makes mistakes, but Houston has made a lot of big bets over the past several seasons and most of them just haven't worked out. Houston is far from hopeless; it still has a core of Watt, Duane Brown, Cushing, Joseph, and Andre Johnson to build around, with Case Keenum looking like he might be a viable starter.

"The Texans will also get a high pick in next year's draft, which is regarded as a strong class of talent. But it's also fair to point out that they have way more problems now than they did two years ago. Those mistakes haven't solely caused them to start 2013 by going 2-7, but they sure haven't helped, either."