CAP Space Analysis: Houston Texans
The Houston Texans came into 2021 with -$7.5 million in cap room. After the release of JJ Watt this puts them already at about $10 million in positive cap room. Let’s investigate what the future fantasy implications are and what other moves they can make.
The Texans have a few decisions to make. Their offensive line has been a bit of a disappointment outside of Tunsil and their defense is suspect at best. The Texans famously have almost no quality draft capital (one top 100 pick and that is #67 in the third round) currently thanks to Bob and his questionable trading that left many questioning how this man could be a GM as the trades completed would have been rejected in Madden as unrealistic.
They need to make some of these moves to clear out some players not playing up to expectations while cleaning up the long-term cap of the team.
Key Free Agents:
Will Fuller – Even with his PED suspension, he should command a large deal and if they make the moves above, they can afford to re-sign him and keep him paired with Watson.
Repairing their relationship with Watson will be key to their offseason. As it can mean two options for the team. They either blow it up and go full rebuild moving assets as quickly as possible to acquire picks to build around a new group or run with Watson and make sure they get Fuller back to compliment his play.
If they get Fuller back with the moves, not in italics, this should provide them with about $35 million in cap room to still make other moves to bolster their defense and offensive line. If they let Fuller walk they would have around $50 million in cap space then to address their team needs.
Starting over and trading Watson:
If they trade Watson with a post-June 1st designation, this will leave them with around $60 million in cap space with $10 million in dead cap. This would be the long shot as the Texans have made no indication they are willing to move Watson since they have him under contract through 2025 and can then franchise tag him through 2027 if needed. However, if they do decide to move him, they could recoup massive amounts of draft capital and players to quickly rebuild their team. They could still consider bringing back Fuller which would then leave them around $45 million in cap room to apply to their defense.
When they release or trade David Johnson then Duke Johnson and Scottie Phillips are the two RBs to get the best chance to replace him. Scottie is a player the last coaching staff was making a point of working with extra and spoke highly of him. He likely can be added for free of waivers and Duke Johnson likely takes a 3rd to grab right now.
Their WR corps will be dependent on re-signing Fuller but he and Cooks are likely already owned and would require at minimum one first or more to acquire. Until Fuller signs though you might get him at a discounted price due to the PED suspension.
The TE room of the Texans leaves a lot to be desired and unless they were to draft someone, there is not anyone I would rush out to grab outside of Warring but only if he can get healthy and impress enough in training camp to take the starting role. He has athleticism but cannot stay healthy and is likely free on waivers. In larger leagues, he can be a deep stash if you have an open roster spot but not someone I would be actively acquiring.
3rd Round #67
4th Round #100
4th Round #113
5th Round #131
6th Round #164
6th Round #178
6th Round #188
7th Round #195