The Houston Texans have made a trade that will send MLB Benardrick McKinney and CB Asante Samuel Jr to Kansas City in exchange for SS Tyrann Mathieu. Houston has struggled on defense this year and it is partly why they are sitting at 3-4 and in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time this cycle. McKinney’s contract and age were a huge reason why the Texans were able to part with him. He has been a bright star at the linebacker position for them, but his lack of athleticism and speed made him a liability when asked to cover running backs and tight ends. CB Asante Samuel Jr has a cheap contract, but the Texans just re-signed their starting corners and Samuel Jr primarily played in the slot, so he was expendable. The Texans have a few holes to fill, but they believe those will be filled by the guys that are already on the roster.
Tyrann Mathieu will fill the primary strong safety position in base packages. The Texans will also ask him to play in the nickel corner position. SS Damarious Randall has been an asset since the first season of PML when he was signed as a free agent. Randall’s speed and coverage ability are assets that will allow him to see snaps at the nickel position and the safety position when Mathieu is playing cornerback. CB Lonnie Johnson Jr has been a crucial part of the Texan’s dime defense and he will be asked to step into the nickel role as well. There were rumors about this being the last season for Johnson Jr when his contract is up, but it is the belief in Houston that he will get an extension very soon. The Texans believe that this trade will help their pass defense immensely and give Coach Bull the freedom to blitz more on early downs and leave his defensive backs in one on one coverage. OLB Shaun Bradley and MLB Vosean Joseph are two young players that will fill out the role of starting linebacker. Bradley and Joseph have the athleticism and explosive ability to play all three downs. Tyrann Mathieu is still on the franchise tag, but the Texans want to re-sign him for the remainder of the PML cycle. Negotiations with Matheiu will have to wait until the end of the season due to being traded mid-season, but both sides seemingly want to strike a deal.
Week 8 Negotiations – The Houston Texans and defensive end J.J Watt have agreed on a two year $42.8M deal that will keep Watt in Houston for the remainder of the PML cycle. There were several rumours about Watt being traded and deals being agreed upon before he was injured in week 2, but Watt was able to prove in last week’s game against the Football Team that he is still able to play at a high level. The Texan’s run defense is significantly improved when J.J Watt is in the lineup and his absence further proved that the Texans need him in their starting lineup. The Texans were worried about Watt’s overall health when he went down, he J.J said that he has made a full recovery, and expects to play out the rest of the season without concern.
The Houston Texans and CB Lonnie Johnson Jr have agreed on a two year $9M deal that will keep him in Houston for the remainder of the PML cycle. He is only 26 years old and given the ability to expand on his playing time, the Texans believe that he will grow into a stingy slot corner. His technique in man coverage is very simple and efficient, but he will have to grow into a zone defender. He has had trouble understanding his particular assignment in the past and it has led to open spaces for the offense to target. Jonhson Jr has a tendency to follow a receiver into the next zone assignment instead of breaking off at the point of meeting the closest defender. The Texans still have $35.5M in cap space to sign the rest of their impending free agents. Marquise Goodwin and Jawann Taylor are two of the bigger names that they have left to sign. Jawann Taylor has requested an estimate of $11M a season for three seasons. He believes that he is the best offensive linemen on the roster and would like to get paid as such.