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Houston Texans offseason manifesto: An overview

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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) talks with Deshaun Watson (4) Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Trying to make sense of the current Houston Texans offseason.

This will not come as any sort of secret, but with the Houston Texans hiring Nick Caserio as their new general manager he certainly has a lot of work ahead this offseason.

After winning the division four times in the previous five seasons, the Houston Texans collapsed in 2020 and sputtered to a record of 4-12, and there wasn’t much that went right for the franchise in Houston.

Bill O’Brien was a complete disaster as a general manager, and now the Houston Texans are left suffering the consequences.

While O’Brien had his fair share of questionable moves even before 2020, this past offseason he totally spiraled out of control. It would not be much of an exaggeration to say the DeAndre Hopkins trade was the worst and most bizarre deal in NFL history.

Hopkins, who is unquestionably one of the most elite wide receivers in the league, was dealt to the Arizona Cardinals in return for running back David Johnson, a 2020 second round pick, and a 2021 fourth round pick.  With all due respect to Johnson, this was a paltry return for one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers.

The other significant trade O’Brien made came on the eve of the 2019 season, when he traded two first round picks and a second round pick in a blockbuster deal that brought Laremy Tunsil to Houston.

Tunsil is a great player that plays a premium position, but this trade bankrupted the Texans of crucial assets. Missing first round picks in consecutive years makes it all the more difficult to add top-end talent to a roster that needs it in the worst way, the upcoming first round pick turned into the third overall pick for 2021.

So, the Houston Texans are coming off one of their worst seasons in franchise history, and they will be entering the offseason without a first or second round pick. However, the bad news does not stop there.

The Texans are currently devoid of cap space. According to spotrac, the Texans will be entering the 2021 offseason at over $20 million OVER the salary cap. This is the eighth worst number of any team in the NFL.

The situation is not great, folks. As it currently stands, the Houston Texans lack an abundance of elite talent, depth, draft picks, and salary cap space. The team was bad in 2020, and I am not sure they currently have any avenues to immediately fix all the holes that are on the roster. Not to mention, the team will also be breaking in a new general manager and head coach this offseason.

The 2021 season has all the makings to be a rebuilding season in Houston. Outside of Deshaun Watson, and Laremy Tunsil I am not sure there are many other players on the current roster that I would consider locks to return next year.

Houston Texans News: What are the objectives for the 2021 season?

The objective for Houston’s 2021 offseason for the new GM Nick Caserio should be rather simple: Get the team in a better position with the salary cap and look for any way possible to create more draft capital.

To accomplish the former, there are a few veteran players that are prime candidates to cut. The Houston Texans could also look to trade some players which could simultaneously create cap space and give the team some extra picks to work with. Any move that contributes to either of these objectives should be on the table.

Houston has a rebuild on its hands, but if they play their cards right perhaps they can make it a quick one. Let us not forget, Houston had horrible close game luck in 2020. The Texans went 2-9 and in games decided by one possession or less.

Houston was more competitive than their 4-12 might suggest. However, I would argue Houston’s competitiveness could largely be attributed to the incredible play of Deshaun Watson. Outside of the quarterback spot, there are holes everywhere else on the roster. If Houston wants to return to the playoffs within the next couple of seasons, they have to use this offseason to get the franchise in better shape for the future.

Perspective is everything. The Texans most likely will not be returning to the playoffs in 2021, and maybe not 2022 either! But the looming offseason represents a new era of Houston Texans football and that is something to get excited about.

Houston Texans fans no longer have to hold their breath waiting to see what Bill O’Brien’s next move will be. In the coming weeks, Houston will be introducing a new head coach. It may not be an overnight turnaround, but a new chapter of the Houston Texans franchise is about to be written and fans should have hope for what the future could bring.

Rebuilds can be exciting, but they also take time, patience, and strategic decision-making. I have put together an offseason manifesto for the Texans that will be broken down into four different parts. Sure, the Texans are lacking high draft picks and cap space, but that does not mean they can not have a successful and effective offseason.

The purpose of this manifesto will be to convey ideas and strategies for how I would like to see Houston execute the start of its rebuild, so look forward to that at the Toro Times as the offseason continues.

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