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Priority for Retaining Free Agents
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Which free agent currently on the roster should be the highest priority?
Kareem Jackson
25%
 25%  [ 5 ]
Brooks Reed
25%
 25%  [ 5 ]
Derek Newton
20%
 20%  [ 4 ]
Tim Jamison
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Ryan Mallett
15%
 15%  [ 3 ]
Akeem Dent
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Kendrick Lewis
15%
 15%  [ 3 ]
Case Keenum
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
John Simon
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 20

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PAtexansFAN99


Joined: 04 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:46 pm    Post subject: Priority for Retaining Free Agents Reply with quote

I omitted several players from my poll including Jerrell Powe, Ryan Pickett, Eddie Pleasant, Cody White, and Jeff Tarpinian. Feel free to make your case for these guys.. I think keeping the majority of these players is in our best interest, and it seems financially viable.

Which player is our #1 priority and which combination of these players would it be best for us to hang on to?
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shep0507


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted for Kendrick Lewis, but I would say almost all of them should be important and viable to keep. I'd like to see Mallett stay on a team friendly deal, but if any of these guys get too big for their britches, send 'em packing. Depending on what timetable they think Clowney will be on, Brooks Reed could exceed everyone on this poll in priority.
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Wolf6151


Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted Brooks Reed, more out of necessity than overall talent. Our LB corp. is in shambles right now. Clowney is injured and I doubt he's ready for TC next season. Or if he's rushed back, I doubt he's effective, probably re-injures and spends the season on IR again. Cushing was terrible this season, hoping he's better next season. The other ILB spot was a rotational one, though I thought Mohamed looked good. And this is not a good year to be finding quality LB's in the draft. So right now we have Mercilus and Mohamed. Reed was the 1 out of 4 LB spots that played all season, looked decent but not great, and who you going to replace him with.

I could make an argument for Lewis and Newton as well.
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dsorc


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am the first to vote for Kareem Jackson. I know some people hate him because of how he started his career so poorly. However, he has turned into a somewhat reliable starting corner even though he is not a #1 CB. Joseph is in the last year of his deal and has struggled with injuries. While we have depth, when either Joseph or Kareem was hurt there was a noticeable drop off. While I like our young guys, none of them did better than Kareem. Though Bouye could (hopefully) push for a starting spot next year, we need insurance in case Joseph struggles with injuries again.

My second choice would have been Reed but he's a limited player. He has no pass rush and limited coverage ability. I could also see Lewis being a priority simply because of the dearth of FS talent.
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jch1911


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would rank them:

QB Ryan Mallett (only if Peyton doesn't sign for cheap Wink )
T Derek Newton
CB Kareem Jackson (based on his age and the market, I think he gets a monster offer & leaves)
S Kendrick Lewis (I think he gets a bigger $$$ offer & he leaves)
OLB Brooks Reed (I think we pick up Tamba Hali after he is cut by KC & roll with Mercilus, Hali, Simon, & Tuggle)
ILB Akeem Dent
S Danieal Manning
NT Ryan Pickett
ILB Jeff Tarpinian (RFA)
NT Jerrell Powe
DE Tim Jamison
S Eddie Pleasant (ERFA) - cheap STer
QB Thad Lewis
C / G Cody White (ERFA) - cheap interior player who coaches apparently love
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Texansfan713


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tough question. Im actually going to be the first person to mention Derek Newton. Yes Derek Newton. He actually had a very good season. If we let him go then we would have another huge need we need to address. We have no depth behind him at tackle. I wouldnt be worried about losing Reed. We can replace him with someone cheaper later in the draft. Kareem would be a loss, but some team is going to try and sign him for number 1 CB money IMO, and can we really afford that?
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good thread. Glad to talk nuts and bolts team building which is the most fascinating part of this game for me. As far as true free agents, this year is much lighter than most as by my count, as Kareem, Newton, and Reed are the only home grown starters finishing out their rookie deals.

Kendrick Lewis is the only other starter, and is an intriguing case since he was a bit of a surprise in that Chris Clements was brought in to replace Manning at safety, but he became the most consistent performer in our secondary last year. His situation begs the question of whether it's more important to have the best players on your team who present significant upside to improve year to year or if once you find a fit, you keep it regardless of upside. I have been banging the drum for years about how vital it is to have a rangy centerfield type FS in this era of 3 and 4 WR sets and TE/WR hybrids because it's almost impossible to anticipate every matchup problem you will face and the FS can be critical in neutralizing that threat. I'm a bit conflicted on Lewis as I think he had a great season, but I'm still not convinced that he is a great player and I've watched too many safeties come thru here and put up one good season then get horribly exposed the following one, AFTER we resign them (Will Demps, Bernard Pollard, Eugene Wilson, etc) not to mention the cheap FAs like Busing, Ferguson. I certainly don't want to return the position to our horrific pattern of trusting it to late rounders like Keo, Barber, Harrison, Nolan, Earl, CC Brown, etc. Daniel Manning stabilized the position for us more than anyone in team history, but he doesn't have the wheels to start in this league anymore.

So, I'm going to deem Lewis as the most significant resigning, but temper it with hoping that it's too a 2 year borderline starter type deal ($5-6 million total), as I STILL want us to prioritize drafting or signing a safety as I think Swearinger will always be a liability in coverage and needs to be strictly regulated to "in the box" duty as a 3rd safety.

BTW - I temper this with the belief that someone will vastly overpay for Kareem Jackson. I'd love to have him back at $4 million, but not at the starting CB pay he will command which be double that annually and close to $40 million total. It's just impossible for me to reconcile that amount for a flawed #2 like him, especially when the step down to $500k Bouye was not nearly as massive as it was to McCain. We're already going to be stuck overpaying for Cushing for the next 3+ years and who knows what will become of Clowney. I'd rather see Crennel work some magic with some 2nd-4th rounders and pay for Brandon Flowers who we KNOW can be extraordinary in this system.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for the purpose of an informed debate, here are the snap counts (offensive or defensive) on our pending FAs. Dent, Pleasant, and Tarpinian were all core special teams coverage guys (which might not be a good thing considering how poor our coverage teams have been)

Starters
RT Derek Newton - 1,107 - 99.8% (started every game but 2 past 3 seasons)
S Kendrick Lewis - 1151 - 95.4% (66 starts in 5 seasons)
OLB Brooks Reed - 786 - 69.6% (52 starts in 4 years)
CB Kareem Jackson - 773 - 68.5% (missed 3 games to injury)
NT Ryan Pickett - 287 - 25.4% (technically started 13 games for us)
ILB Akeem Dent - 224 - 19.8% (56% of special teams snaps) - started final 7 of 8 games

Depth / Special Teams
S Danieal Manning - 580 - 51.4% (46% of special teams snaps)
DE Tim Jamison - 410 - 36.3% (missed 3 games to injury)
NT Jerrell Powe - 272- 24.1% (started 3 games)
S Eddie Pleasant (ERFA) - 60 - 5.3% (57% of special teams snaps)
ILB Jeff Tarpinian (RFA) - 42 - 3.7% (60% of special teams snaps)
C/G Cody White (ERFA) - bizarre roster spot (on roster, never active)

QB Collection
QB Case Keenum - 165 - 14.9%
QB Ryan Mallett - 157 - 14.2%
QB Thad Lewis - 0
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW - John Simon was signed to a 2 year deal when we brought him in last year so he shouldn't be on this list. T Tyson Clabo was also signed to a 2 year deal but is a near certain cut with him slated to eat up $1.3 million in 2015 cap, but only $100k cap hit to cut the 33 year old backup. Similarly, T Will Yeatman is under contract for $1 million but with nothing guaranteed, so cutting him is a near certainty.

Obviously restructuring Andre Johnson's deal is the biggest roster / money decision of the offseason. As structured, AJ would count $16.1 million against the 2015 cap and $14.6 in 2016. Cutting/Trading him creates $7.3 million in dead money, but saves $8.8 in 2015 which could be converted to $11.5 million in 2015 savings if he is a post June 1 cut which splits the prorated portion over 2 seasons leaving only $4.6 million in dead 2015 money. We ate $10.5 million in Matt Schaub money and $4.3 million in Ed Reed / Daniels money last year, so a $4.6 hit is nothing.

Chris Myers is another clear restructure / extension candidate since he counts $8 million against the 2015 cap and only $2 million in dead money if we cut the 33 year old. Personally, I would MUCH prefer we extend the reliable Myers who could easily play at a high level another 4 seasons as continuity on the o-line is critical and we have enough rebuilding to do elsewhere. Don't discount what Myers brings as the playcaller on the o-line or assume that Ben Jones could take that over as he presents as the classic meathead and while improved in protection, doesn't strike me as the guy you want making those calls out of the huddle. We got a taste of what poor protection in the middle looks like with #33 overall pick XSF only able to play 11% of snaps because he was so easily fooled. The surest way to ensure a QB will fail is to give up pressure up the middle, so the timing for change there strikes me as particularly bad.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I think Brooks Reed is an expendable player who borders on JAG level. I liked his fire initially, but his pass rush skills are clearly limited, maxing out at 3 sacks per season the past 3 years. He's a decent tackler and run stopper, but those are are a dime a dozen at LB and I just don't think he has the coverage skills to hang inside. Mike Mohamed was a revelation at ILB and Tuggle continues to develop, so I don't see any transition happening there anymore and it doesn't make sense to pay OLB salary only to move him inside considering how few ILBs are even drafted. I actually prefer that we bring Akeem Dent back as unlike Reed, he plays special teams. We have John Simon signed pretty cheap for next year and he flashed in limited duty and is worth a 2nd look next year. Mercilus was vastly improved last year and obviously Clowney is now the ultimate wild card, but we simply can't throw big $ or another high pick at the position.

I think OLB will be on our day 3 draft radar this year and I could see us going with a one year FA rental type player to see how Clowney recovers and if we see enough continued progress with Mercilus to commit long-term dollars to him. Justin Houston is obviously going to set the market VERY high for OLBs and I see almost no chance KC lets him walk and he'll most likely be the next addition to the $100 million club. Jason Worilds has the prototypical 3-4 OLB build although his play has rarely lived up to it, but you've got to figure he'll be a priority for a Steelers defense in transition that can't afford to create another hole.

Brian Orakpo will be be the best consolation prize with a chance to truly test the open market and I think should thrive with returned health and finally playing for a competent DC not in DC. Essentially missing 2 of the past 3 seasons due to injury might depress his market a bit, but double digit sack guys will always be in demand and at only 28 he's got plenty of them left in his tank. He could take a "bet on himself" deal to try and rebuild his value to a $100 million long-term deal, but I think that was the plan last year but he overdid it and blew out his pec which is a bit problematic considering his brother is a convicted roid dealer and there has always been plenty of smoke around Brian (515 lb bench press / 600 lb squat).

John Abraham and Dwight Freeney are out there, but I'm not big on 4-3 DEs converting to 3-4 OLBs late in their careers or using LB roster spots on old guys who won't play special teams. Sam Acho is a guy who might be worth a look although mere association with the Cardinals defense tends to inflate even bit players value. Jerry Hughes is from Houston and racked up double digit sacks the past two seasons for the Bills, but playing for Rex will certainly be an enticement for him to stay and again, I just don't see us being in the position of spending big at OLB unless we are prepared to give up on Mercilus and Clowney which are both premature.

The LB I'm most intrigued by remains Arthur Brown, who's slide down the depth chart in Balt is a bit perplexing. He seems to have started in the doghouse there and never gotten out, although CJ Mosely would have lept past anyone on the depth chart and they needed Daryl Smith's veteran leadership. He's a quiet dude which may not play well with Harbaugh, but I doubt Ozzie would admit defeat and trade him to us at a discount even though a 2nd rounder collecting dust every week as a gameday inactive is a waste of an asset. I don't think he'll ever be a big sack guy, but I think he could play a critical role for us as a sideline to sideline LB who can actually keep up with TEs and RBs. Cushing is only 28, but has the legs of a 36 year old who would struggle to keep his job next year if not for his horrendous contract.
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lumberjackchris


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Texansfan713 wrote:
Tough question. Im actually going to be the first person to mention Derek Newton. Yes Derek Newton. He actually had a very good season. If we let him go then we would have another huge need we need to address. We have no depth behind him at tackle. I wouldnt be worried about losing Reed. We can replace him with someone cheaper later in the draft. Kareem would be a loss, but some team is going to try and sign him for number 1 CB money IMO, and can we really afford that?


My vote was close between Newt and Lewis. We didn't draft Brooks at the top of the 2nd round to be an edge setter, and good against the run, we drafted him to be a pass rusher, and he doesn't generate anywhere near enough pressure for that.

Newt won my vote because continuity it key with the OL. You're not going to have above avg starters at every position on an NFL. Newt had a good year in a contract year, but i don't think he'll break the bank. Id offer him 4 years 20 mill with 10 guaranteed.
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PAtexansFAN99


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted for Mallett because I believe he's our best chance at above average quarterback play in 2015. I can see someone signing Mallett besides us and him having a breakout performance. It's hard to argue with Newton who clearly earned his payday arguably playing better than the rest of our linemen this season, but i give a slight edge to Mallett assuming that OB and new OL coach Devlin will get solid play from our line regardless of who we line up at RT.
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Pastor Dillon


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We aren't going to be able to keep both JJoe and Jackson, one of them has to go, and we can't really afford to lose both of them

JJoe has a cap hit next season of 12 million. For a guy that is 30 and has slowed down some

Jackson is 26 and is coming into his prime, and I have to think we can get him for less than 12 million a season, and even if that is the cost, we can structure the contract to where we worry about that later

If you are asking me to choose between JJoe and Jackson, im going with the young guy

Letting go of JJoe gives us 3 million in dead money, so we dont hurt our cap any to release him and sign Jackson to a deal with a cap hit of 9 million or less this season

We signed JJoe to a 5 year 48 million dollar deal, and he was a top of the market player that year, I dont think the market for Jackson will be that big, so I would go in and offer him 5 years 39 million, which is 3x his original rookie deal and hopefully he remembers we didnt cut him when he was one of the worst CBs in football.
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treece300e


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pastor Dillon wrote:
We aren't going to be able to keep both JJoe and Jackson, one of them has to go, and we can't really afford to lose both of them

JJoe has a cap hit next season of 12 million. For a guy that is 30 and has slowed down some

Jackson is 26 and is coming into his prime, and I have to think we can get him for less than 12 million a season, and even if that is the cost, we can structure the contract to where we worry about that later

If you are asking me to choose between JJoe and Jackson, im going with the young guy

Letting go of JJoe gives us 3 million in dead money, so we dont hurt our cap any to release him and sign Jackson to a deal with a cap hit of 9 million or less this season

We signed JJoe to a 5 year 48 million dollar deal, and he was a top of the market player that year, I dont think the market for Jackson will be that big, so I would go in and offer him 5 years 39 million, which is 3x his original rookie deal and hopefully he remembers we didnt cut him when he was one of the worst CBs in football.


If I recall correctly, JJoe said he'd be willing to take a paycut last year so they could re-sign or pick up some FA. If that option is still on the table, I'd prefer that we rework his contract, especially if it means keeping him and KJ. I think our depth at CB is better now than I can ever recall, so that is reassuring, but the way the secondary came together toward the end of the 2014 season, it would be tremendous if we could keep everyone together. I do think KJ will get a solid offer and be forced to take it, so I think we should extend JJoe to a more team-friendly deal and then either make a strong push for Flowers and/or draft a CB early.

I wouldn't be upset to see Brooks leave via FA, likely to the Jets, Ravens or Eagles. If we can re-sign him for a low price, I'm okay with it, but I don't see him being a high priority. I mirror the opinions of many on here that we need to make Kendrick Lewis and Newton our priorities for retention. There will likely be another question mark at LG next season, so having a second OL position that needs to be filled could make for another long season for whatever QB we choose from the carousel. Newton also played pretty well at RG when he was called upon to do so, which makes him more valuable.
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Apollo Stallion


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW - Damaris Johnson needs to be added to the list as he is a RFA. Suggest OP replace John Simon, who is NOT a free agent with DJ.

Personally, I think we could vastly and cheaply improve over Damaris who's penchant for critical drops was maddening, but his 31 catches for 331 is almost as much production as Keshawn Martin has provided in THREE seasons (48 / 416). I'd give him an original pick tender (he was a UDFA) and not sweat it if somebody takes him. Personally, I wish we had dumped K. Martin and given Labhart a look which I could see happening this year if we continue to ignore the value of the slot in the draft. Of course, somehow Alan Bonner is still on this roster after two all-inclusive seasons at the Texans IR Resort and if Texans history tells you anything, he'll suddenly "emerge" this offseason (aka GM OTA-speak and pre-season garbage time) and lock up a #5 WR spot and be our next underwhelming returner. It's just painful to think that if Kubiak/Smith hadn't outsmarted themselves again, we could be sitting with Rueben Randle and TY Hilton instead of the steaming pile of nothingness that has been Posey and Martin.
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