State of the Texans: Purging More Than Just Bad Quarterbacks

By: Shaun Bijani

Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The Texans have eradicated themselves from most of Brock Osweiler’s contract, in dealing him to the Cleveland Browns along with a 2nd round pick in the upcoming April draft in exchange for additional cap space and a compensatory 4th round choice.

You’ve heard and read this already, but moving Osweiler is a good deal for all parties involved.

Osweiler stills gets his money. The Browns have a ton of cap space available, by taking on Osweiler’s contract, it helps them reach the floor this year. They gain another draft pick, which they have 8 of in the first 2 rounds over the next 2 drafts. Meanwhile, the Texans admit one of the biggest mistakes made in free agency. Ever. The Texans of course gain plenty of cap space to fill some important holes they’ve accrued since free agency began in losing S Quintin Demps, CB AJ Bouye and ILB John Simon.

They of course need to address issues on the offensive line as well, most notable, whether or not RT Derek Newton will be able to come back at full strength after tearing patellar tendons in both knees last October.

There are different ways to attack free agency. Those strategies differ from team to team, and they differ every off season.

One year ago at this time, the Texans were one of the most active teams in the league in free agency.

The Texans had signed 4 free agents (Jeff Allen, Tony Bergstrom, Lamar Miller and Brock Osweiler), re-signed 6 of their own (Jeff Adams, Chris Clark, Charles James, Shane Lechler, Nick Novak and Eddie Pleasant) and had made tenders to a couple of more (AJ Bouye and John Simon).

This off season, the Texans have spent most of their time these first few days cleaning up the mess they’d made last off season when they signed a guy they’d never even met, while losing key pieces to their defense.

Cornerback AJ Bouye signed a 5 year $67.5 million deal with the Jaguars, ILB John Simon has joined the Colts, signing a 3 year deal worth nearly $14 million and S Quintin Demps leaving for Chicago for the next 3 years and $21 million. They whiffed on free agent RT Mike Remmers, who decided to sign with Minnesota for 5 years $30 million.

Thus, while the Texans found a way to kick the proverbial 800-pound elephant, i.e. Brock Osweiler’s ass out of the room, there are more questions than there are answers at this point in time.

With so little action from the hometown team in terms of acquiring talent, instead losing it at the moment, conversation as to why things didn’t work out between Osweiler and the Texans.

Texans color analyst Andre Ware spoke about it Friday morning when he joined MAD Radio.

“I think the personality in terms of… can you coach Brock hard? Brock is the type of individual, you know, he needs reassurance. He needs an arm around him, he needs to be told in a way that you kind of have to massage things with Brock,” Ware says. “You can’t scream at him because that type of personality will go in a shell and so when your evaluating quarterbacks, you’ve got to know that you can coach them hard and when you play for Bill O’Brien your gonna be coached hard unless you’ve done it and you’re an experienced quarterback that has a track record.”

Some of the criticism the Texans took early on, when they initially signed Osweiler to a 4 year $72 million contract last year, was that they did so without ever meeting with him.

It was kicked under the rug by most and still is to this day. No big deal they say.
Maybe it’s just my ignorance, but don’t you think a guy like Bill O’Brien, a guy that apparently puts so much stock into a 15 minute interview opportunity he gets with a draft prospect at the combine, that he’d at least want to meet with the guy that’s going to be quarterbacking his team?

When asked this past week, what he values about the combine the most, Bill O’Brien said medical reports and the interviews, especially as it pertains to the quarterbacks.

None of this matters in relation to Brock Osweiler now. Osweiler is currently the Browns problem. However I think the bad business of guaranteeing so much money to someone that you never even met, never had the opportunity to ask football specific questions to, never had the opportunity to determine whether or not YOU [Bill O’Brien] feel like a guy could translate his game from a quarterback friendly system under Gary Kubiak to a more complex and demanding one under YOU [Bill O’Brien]?

What does still matter, as it pertains to the Texans is the question that I’ve been asking for a long time now.
Can they effectively and efficiently evaluate a quarterback?
Don’t kid yourself in thinking that, if in fact Tony Romo becomes the newest Texans quarterback, this question becomes obsolete.

And something still bothers me about the fact this organization was comfortable enough to make such an important decision on the most pivotal position at such a critical time in the manner they did, in signing Osweiler last off season.

Mistakes happen in business, but successful ones don’t make THOSE kind of mistakes again.

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