Now that the draft is over, the Texans will be looking to fill the remaining holes on their roster with free agents. The problem this year is that no one knows when free agency will begin.
Normal league business, with the exception of last week’s draft, is on hold because of the lockout. But that lockout could be lifted any day by the 8th circuit court of appeals.
If that happens, the league will send out the rules and regulations governing free agent signings and it will be open season for playes to sign on the dotted line. The biggest issue is which players will be “free.”
If the league reverts to last year’s rules, which seems to be the most likely scenario, players with six or more years of service who are not currently under contract will immediately be able to sign new contracts.
Which players on that list might interest the Texans?
The biggest needs are still on defense: outside linebacker, nose tackle, safety, and, perhaps, cornerback. If Vonta Leach leaves, the Texans could be in the market for a fullback too.
The list of outside linebackers is underwhelming but it includes the Colts Tyjuan Hagler andSan Francisco’s Travis LaBoy. Jason Babin is also set to be a free agent. He’s resurrected his career in Phiadelphia andTennessee, but the Texans have been down that road before and aren’t likely to go that direction again.
If the Texans are looking for a run stuffing nose tackle, they could be in trouble. There are no 330 pound behemoths out there. That leaves 310-315 lb. options likeDenver’s Ronald Fields,Chicago’s Anthony Adams or the Niners Aubrayo Franklin.
Available safeties include Saints safety Darren Sharper, a 14-year veteran,Seattle’s Jordan Babineaux, aPort Arthurnative, Indy’s Aaron Francisco and the Patriots Brandon McGowan.
The crown jewel of the defensive free agent class is Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. His price will be steep, probably too steep for the Texans. Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor wouldn’t be a bad fallback option, however the Texans are already crowded at CB and might choose to stay in-house again.