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2012 NFL Offseason: Houston Texans

Draft Grades, Season Previews, Offseason Needs, Free Agents

Houston Texans (Last Year: 10-6)

2012 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB John Beck, RB Justin Forsett, ILB Bradie James, CB Alan Ball, P Donnie Jones.
Early Draft Picks:
DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus, WR DeVier Posey, G Brandon Brooks, C/G Ben Jones, WR Keshawn Martin, DE/DT Jared Crick, K Randy Bullock.
Offseason Losses:
QB Matt Leinart, FB Lawrence Vickers, WR/KR Jacoby Jones, TE Joel Dreessen, OT Eric Winston, G Mike Brisiel, G Kasey Studdard, DE Mario Williams, ILB DeMeco Ryans, CB Jason Allen, K Neil Rackers.

2012 Houston Texans Offense:
Isn't it a bit odd that Mario Williams' base salary with the Bills is exactly twice as much as Matt Schaub's? Williams was lost for 2011 early in the season, and Houston didn't skip a beat. When Schaub went down with a Lisfranc injury, the Texans lost all hope of winning the Super Bowl.

Houston was a legitimate contender. In fact, the team arguably had the most overall talent on any roster. Schaub is a very good quarterback and would have given the Texans a good chance of claiming the Lombardi Trophy. Some can argue that he tends to choke in the clutch, but he's had way too much pressure to score tons of points because his defense was always dreadful. That was not the case this past year. Schaub's per-game yardage was down, but his touchdown-to-interception ratio (15:6) was a career-best in Houston.

Fortunately, Schaub and most of his supporting cast are back, including Andre Johnson, who played in only seven games because of a lingering hamstring injury. Johnson is perceived as being injury-prone, but the truth is that he's been on the field in fewer than 13 contests only twice in his career. He will be 31 in July, but Johnson should be as great as ever in 2012.

Johnson and Owen Daniels will need to stay healthy because the rest of Houston's receiving corps is dismal. Kevin Walter is not a No. 2 wideout despite what Gary Kubiak thinks. The front office spent mid-round selections on DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin to push Walter, but neither prospect was highly regarded entering the 2012 NFL Draft. They've both struggled in OTAs, while the big and highly athletic Lestar Jean has impressed. Jean could push Walter to be a starter.

The Texans' dynamic ground attack makes up for the lacking talent at receiver. Arian Foster and Ben Tate are both terrific running backs, rushing for 1,224 and 942 yards last year, respectively. Tate is the better pure runner, but Foster is outstanding in terms of both blocking and catching passes out of the backfield. They complement each other really well.

Foster and Tate are both talented, but it helped that they had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL blocking for them. Unfortunately, two of those linemen are gone. Right tackle Eric Winston and right guard Mike Brisiel signed with the Chiefs and Raiders, respectively. Rashad Butler will start at right tackle, while Andre Caldwell will have to fend off third-round rookie Brandon Brooks at right guard. Both Butler and Caldwell were backups last year, but Houston is confident that it can plug and play lesser-skilled linemen into its zone-blocking scheme, as Mike Shanahan used to do in Denver.

The left side of the front is still intact, thanks to the re-signing of center Chris Myers, who happens to be a force in the ground game. Left tackle Duane Brown didn't surrender a single sack in 2011. Left guard Wade Smith struggled, however. He was the worst blocker of the group and would have been replaced this offseason, had it not been for the two linemen Houston failed to retain.

2012 Houston Texans Defense:
It really says something about a defense when it can lose its best player and not really experience a drop in production. That's exactly what happened last year when Mario Williams tore his pectoral in early October. Houston finished ninth versus the run (3.9 YPC), second against the pass (6.2 YPA) and second in sacks (53).

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips deserves a ton of credit, but it does help that he's coaching a bunch of talented players. Rush linebackers Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed, who were playing in their second and first seasons, respectively, really stepped up in Williams' absence. Barwin tallied 11.5 sacks, while Reed accumulated 10 if the four he obtained in the playoffs are counted. The two will combine with No. 26 overall selection Whitney Mercilus to form a potent, pass-rushing trio.

Barwin and Reed weren't the only Texans who had double-figure sack totals. Rookie J.J. Watt notched six in the regular season and then four more in the playoffs. He did more than just tackle quarterbacks; he was a force in every facet of the game, including the famous postseason play against the Bengals in which he intercepted an Andy Dalton pass and took it back for six. Watt will only get better, which should help out fellow defensive end Antonio Smith, who had 6.5 sacks of his own.

There are two potential holes in Houston's front seven. One is at nose tackle. Shaun Cody isn't completely useless, but he's a sub-par performer. Meanwhile, inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans was shipped off to Philadelphia because he didn't fit Phillips' scheme well enough. Darryl Sharpton, a fourth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, is penciled in next to Pro Bowl talent Brian Cushing despite the fact that he barely played in Houston's new 3-4 last year. Newly signed Bradie James, who played for Phillips in Dallas, can step in and be OK if the Sharpton experiment doesn't work out.

The Texans made a big free-agent signing last year by inking Johnathan Joseph to a 5-year, $48.75 million contract. He lived up to his price tag, limiting opposing receivers to a completion percentage of 56. Joseph shut down A.J. Green in a playoff matchup; the star rookie wideout registered five catches for only 47 yards.

Aside from free safety Danieal Manning, the rest of Houston's secondary is shaky, so it's a good thing the front seven can put so much pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Cornerback Kareem Jackson was a bit better in 2011 than he was as a rookie, but still struggled. Strong safety Glover Quin was the worst defensive back of the bunch. He should have been upgraded this offseason. Meanwhile, the Texans lost some corner depth, as Jason Allen signed with Cincinnati. Brandon Harris, a second-round pick in 2011, will be asked to contribute.

2012 Houston Texans Schedule and Intangibles:
The Texans struggled on special teams in 2010, as they were outgained by their opponents by 1.3 yards on punt returns and 4.4 yards on kickoffs. They failed to score a touchdown and allowed one to the opposition. That changed last season. They bested their foes in both averages (0.8 and 2.8) and scored a touchdown. However, that was accomplished by Jacoby Jones, who is now with the Ravens. At least Danieal Manning is still there to return kickoffs.

Neil Rackers is no longer with the team. He hit 32-of-38 tries in 2011, but the Texans didn't really attempt to retain him. They spent a fifth-round pick on Randy Bullock instead. Bullock drilled 29-of-33 attempts for Texas A&M this past fall.

Newly signed Donnie Jones will compete with Brett Hartmann for the starting punter job. Neither is that good, so it's a toss-up.

Tennessee, Jacksonville and Indianapolis must be pissed because the Texans somehow have a ridiculously easy schedule to kick things off in 2012. Four of their first five opponents are the Dolphins, Jaguars, Titans and Jets. Their final three contests are versus the Colts (twice) and Vikings.

2012 Houston Texans Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):

Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2012 Houston Texans Analysis: The Texans never could hurdle Peyton Manning's Colts, but they didn't need to last year because Manning was knocked out with his neck injury. Now, Manning is no longer in the division. While seeing Wade Phillips' defense go up against Manning twice per season would have been a blast, Houston fans aren't complaining because their team is finally the one to beat in the AFC South.

That will not change in 2012. There is no team in the division that can challenge the Texans. In fact, if they can keep everyone healthy for a change, they'll be one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl.

Projection: 12-4 (1st in AFC South)

2012 Fantasy Football Rankings

More 2012 NFL Season Previews


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travis 02-03-2012 08:49 pm (total posts: 1)
90     11

Brett Hartmann is the best punter in the NFL and the reason his stats are not the best is he could kick a ball at his 40 yard line and down it inside the 10 yard line
Trevor 01-27-2012 04:56 pm (total posts: 1)
74     16

I think Glover Quin played quite well. He was at his worse when Manning was out because he was exposed more often. If Allen leaves, Quin may move back to CB depending on how the draft goes. I really think that this analysis overrates Mario. He is an incredible talent and athlete, but he also takes plays off and is often a liability in the run game. I think he is a better fit in a 4-3 where he has less responsibility against the run. His price tag will likely be too high for the Texans and I think it may be time to let him walk. Reed and Barwin played well. They may not have been the sack artists that Mario is, but I think they are more complete players. I predict the Texans let Mario walk and use one of their top 3 picks on a high-motor rush linebacker. Mario's contract jeopardizes some critical signings this year, and even more next year; I don't think it happens.
Tyler 01-27-2012 02:59 pm (total posts: 3)
26     18

@Vince I'm adding another undrafted FA to our white LBing corps just for you!
UFA- Miles Burris ILB
Serior Bowl tomorrow boys! My mock might be entirely different after that.
Tyler 01-27-2012 02:38 pm (total posts: 3)
35     46

Alameda Ta'amu is a DT, not a WR, my bad on that.
First of all, both Reed and Barwin are rookies for all intensive purposes. Barwin put up the same number Williams did, and can actually cover a TE. You also need to concider that it's not just new players. It's new players, at new position, with an entirely different coaching staff. An entire offseason, OTAs, mini-camps, etc...they will have had time to soak up the full playbook as well as adding to their sockpile of moves. As far as benefiting from Williams being on the field, well frankly that doesn't make any sense. Reed wasn't on the field until Williams was gone, and Barwin was playing a position with very different responsibilities, i.e. covering TEs. There is no denying Mario's abilities, or that his being on the field demands a double team. It's simple numbers. Mario is VERY close to wearing the "injury prone" tag around his neck. What happens when we have spent $ on one guy (when it could have been 2-3) and he gets hurt, again? I'm just not sold on a LB that is only good at one thing. When have you seen Mario 30 yards down the field making a tackle? If we talking about Ware, this would be a different conversation. Ware is a Bad MF, who can do more than just rush. If Mario does in fact leave the D will miss his abilities for sure, and would be better with him. But he won't make or break our D, next years D will be even tougher. Mark my words. Oh! I think it's fantastic that we have that many white LB. Antonio Smith calls them the "white sacks"! hahahaha I love it!
Vince 01-27-2012 01:38 pm (total posts: 3)
19     24

All I'm saying is that it's a possibility. It's easy to do it for a few games, sure, but it's a lot harder to do it for a whole season. Remember when guys like Caleb Hanie got reserve work and looked really good? What about when he had to start? 1-5, now he is a one star on Walt's rankings. What do you think will happen to Matt Flynn? Once he finally starts, he won't be that great a QB.

I know I used QBs as the example, but that's because they're the most looked at by the media/fans/coaches. It can happen to any position. I hope it doesn't, I really like the Texans, I'm just saying it's something to look out for.
Hey Vince 01-27-2012 01:31 pm (total posts: 1)
19     11

Yeah, Mario was injured pretty early, and they both produced when it was just them. Barwin was great all year. Brooks really got his reps when Mario was out.
Vince 01-26-2012 09:48 pm (total posts: 3)
23     133

Another tihng to keep in mind is that if Mario Williams does hit the open market and leaves Houston, that doesn't mean the Texans will be okay at rush LB. Brooks Reed (what's with this team and white linebackers?) and Connor Barwin are both definitely good players, but they also both benefited massively from offenses focusing on Mario Williams.
Vince 01-26-2012 09:44 pm (total posts: 3)
45     18

Hey Tyler.... I know that Alameda Ta'amu is a good athlete.... I just don't feel like he'd get enough separation from NFL DBs to be a second round pick at receiver.
Tyler 01-26-2012 06:18 pm (total posts: 3)
57     21

There is a new stipulation, you can't franchise someone inorder to trade them, so that's out. Foster and Williams are not the only monster contracts that are on the table. Just like the rest of the nation, people easily over look the 1500 pounds of big uglies that make Foster's success possible. Chris Myers is arguably the best center in football, and the anchor for the best O-line (as a whole) in the game. Myers must be resigned. As far as Foster and Tate are concerned, stats alone can be deceiving. Tate's success was largely due to Foster's success in wearing down a defense. If they shared carries 50/50 Tate would not have the same statistics. Foster can catch, Tate struggles with that, Foster can pass block, and Tate struggles with that as well, and as far as vision goes, it's Foster hands down. His ability to be the "complete back" far overshadows Tate's yards per carry. I would take Barwin over Williams for the simple fact that you get 80% of the rush for 50% of the money. I hear alot of people say that Barwin ONLY had 11.5 sacks. Well, 2 were called back because of pass interference, not to mention until week 6 or 7 he was playing the strong side covering TEs or dropping back into coverage(Williams doesn't posses that ability). We can pick up two solid LB, maybe even three for the money of just one Williams. Mark Anderson, Kroy Biermann, Dave Tollefson, etc...would all make for fantastic rush LB to add to the rotation, and still leave room under the cap for signing a legitimate #2 WR or #2 CB if Houston should decide to do so. Bottom line, Williams is a luxury, Foster and Myers are necessity. If the Texans are given a third round compensory pick go to Harrison Smith SS.
1st. Mohammad Sanu WR
2nd. Alameda Ta'amu WR
3rd. Nate Potter OT
3rd. Harrison Smith SS
4th. Shea McClellin OLB/DE
5th. Jordan White WR
6th. Derek Wolfe DT/DE
7th. Sean Cattouse SS
FA. Was Kemp
Shawn 01-26-2012 10:09 am (total posts: 1)
15     22

Tag and trade is highly unlikely for several reasons. First, the tag is too expensive, $22 million according to John McClain, so Mario and his agent will know that the Texans can't use it. Second, Mario would have to agree to terms with another team without testing the open market. Third, that other team would have to give up pick(s)/player(s) AND commit major cash to an injury prone but proven veteran pass rusher before they have a chance to take a much cheaper and younger pass rusher in the draft.

The Texans are likely to make Mario a long term offer, Mario will test the market and probably sign for more money with a team that plays 4-3. Texans get a 3rd round compensatory selection and will look to the draft for another OLB.
FoRM 01-26-2012 06:57 am (total posts: 1)
15     14

Hopefully the Texans tag-and-trade Mario so we get some sort of draft picks out of it. Tim Dobbins, Jason Allen, and Chris Myers absolutely have to be retained. Arian foster got the Texans logo shaved into his head; I'm not worried about him leaving. Rackers will probably be back.
Untilted 08-21-2011 08:16 pm (total posts: 1)
27     33

At the bottom of the page, where it says More 2011 Offseason Pages, when you click on the link for Atlanta it brings you to Houstons page.
Lanier 08-16-2011 11:29 am (total posts: 1)
135     43

Andy Reid=walrus
Jim Z. 08-15-2011 11:57 am (total posts: 1)
32     27

This team has done enough in the offseason to win their division. Make no mistake; they needed to upgrade defense and they did. I don't care what you say about the demeanor of the team or the coaching staff because this team will be one of the elite, both offensively and defensively, in the AFC next year.
M-dogg 08-12-2011 03:02 am (total posts: 1)
29     25

Everyone seemed to jump on the Texans to the playoffs bandwagon the last two seasons but I wasen't convinced and it turned out I was right. BUT I think this is the year. Their offence has had an insanely good passing attack the last few years and last year they added an elite running game. Outside of Leach they didn't lose any considerable pieces on offence so they should still be at the top of the league. Wade Phillips failed as a HC but is a master of defenceive strategy. I give them props for going out and getting the right pieces for the 3-4 after signing Phillips because sadly alot of teams fail to do that. J.J. Watt is the prototypical 5-technique and I believe he'll surprise many people this season. I feel that Brooks Reed will win the other OLB spot and contribute many sacks as well. Then they went out and got Jonathon Joseph who is one of the top CBs in league no matter what anyone says. The only 2 problems I have with their moves on defence is the decision to have Mario Williams play OLB and not finding a prototypical NT. They have two really good ILBs in Ryans and Cushing so they should serve as a handicap in the running game and hide some of the struggles of Earl Mitchell or whoever plays NT. At the end of the day I think the effectivness of their defence and how far they'll go as a team will depend on how well Mario transitions IMO.

2012 NFL Draft Grade: C+

Goals Entering the 2012 NFL Draft: The Texans had only one need entering the offseason, and that was at the receiver position. They've lost right tackle Eric Winston, guard Mike Brisiel and linebacker DeMeco Ryans since then, so Houston will need replacements.

2012 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Houston wasn't planning on drafting a receiver in the first round, reasoning that the new wideout would be fourth on the depth chart entering the season. I don't necessarily agree with that, but whatever. The No. 26 overall selection was a good one, as Whitney Mercilus was mocked as high as No. 7 by Todd McShay.

The Texans did well to address their offensive line with Brandon Brooks and Ben Jones, and then they managed to net Jared Crick all the way at No. 126. That was a steal. However, Houston's receiver choices were rather questionable. DeVier Posey in the third round? Really? He was a mid-Day 3 prospect on every single major big board. There were much better options out there.

General manager Rick Smith didn't have a bad draft, but it was disappointing. I expected more out of him.

2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

26. Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois: A Grade
The Texans already had Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed, but they wanted a third pass-rusher to use in a rotation. So, with that in mind, I think this is a great pick because Whitney Mercilus could have easily gone in the late teens. Like the Lions and Steelers, the Texans are a smart team that is getting the benefit of dumb franchises reaching for prospects.

68. DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State: Matt Millen First Kielbasa Date Grade
Steven Lourie of said it best: "DeVier Posey to the Texans. Someone will have to wake him up and tell him someone actually drafted him." I don't know where the hell this pick came from. I don't even think I had Posey in my mock. He wasn't in the top 125 on any consensus big board.

76. Brandon Brooks, G, Miami of Ohio: A- Grade
Things go back to normal for the Texans, who select a prospect who actually fits the range; Brandon Brooks actually could have gone in the bottom of the second round. Houston needed to find guard help after losing Mike Brisiel.

99. Ben Jones, C/G, Georgia: B Grade
Ben Jones is decent value in Round 4, but he doesn't really fill a need. The Texans already drafted a guard and they were able to re-sign Chris Myers. Jones will need injuries to sneak into the starting lineup.

121. Keshawn Martin, WR, Michigan State: C+ Grade
There were mixed opinions on Keshawn Martin entering the 2012 NFL Draft. Some major boards had him in the 100-130 range; others slotted him 400-plus. I feel like there were better receivers out there for the Texans.

126. Jared Crick, DE/DT, Nebraska: A+ Grade
What's with the series of steals at the bottom of Round 4? Jared Crick, once considered a potential first-round prospect, was ranked as high as No. 58 on a major big board. The Texans had to find depth on the defensive line.

161. Randy Bullock, K, Texas A&M: C+ Grade
No surprise that the Texans brought in local product Randy Bullock; I just thought they'd do it a bit later. But I understand why they panicked a bit - with Neil Rackers gone, Houston didn't have a kicker on its roster.

195. Nick Mondek, OT, Purdue: C Grade
Nick Mondek wasn't projected to be drafted by any publication, but he fills a need at right tackle. He's also good for Houston's zone-blocking scheme.

Season Summary:
You really have to feel for the Texans. They finally got over the hump and reached the playoffs for the first time in franchise history - but they had to try to advance to the Super Bowl without their starting quarterback and top defensive player. If they had Matt Schaub and Mario Williams, they would have unquestionably been the favorite because of their balance.

Offseason Moves:
  • Texans sign FB Moran Norris
  • Texans sign RB Justin Forsett
  • Texans sign CB Alan Ball
  • Texans sign QB John Beck
  • Ravens sign WR Jacoby Jones
  • Texans sign K Shayne Graham
  • Texans cut WR/KR Jacoby Jones
  • Raiders sign QB Matt Leinart
  • Redskins sign K Neil Rackers
  • Texans sign ILB Bradie James
  • Texans re-sign ILB Tim Dobbins
  • Texans re-sign S Quintin Demps
  • Texans sign P Donnie Jones
  • Broncos sign TE Joel Dreessen
  • Eagles acquire ILB DeMeco Ryans for 4th-round pick; swap of 3rd-rounders
  • Bengals sign CB Jason Allen
  • Chiefs sign OT Eric Winston
  • Texans re-sign C Chris Myers
  • Bills sign DE Mario Williams
  • Cowboys sign FB Lawrence Vickers
  • Texans cut FB Lawrence Vickers
  • Texans cut OT Eric Winston
  • Texans cut QB Matt Leinart
  • Texans re-sign RB Arian Foster

    Offseason Needs:
    1. Two Wide Receivers: Can you blame T.J. Yates for staring down Andre Johnson in the playoff loss to the Ravens? With Owen Daniels banged up, he had no one else to throw to. Fortunately for the Texans, Alshon Jeffery could be available at No. 26 in the 2012 NFL Draft. Drafted DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin

    2. Three Interior Linemen: Center Chris Myers and right guard Mike Brisiel are free agents who will need to be retained. Left guard Wade Smith is still under contract, but he was the clear weak link of the offensive line. Houston will show interest in center Peter Konz if he happens to fall to the 26th pick. Re-signed Chris Myers; drafted Ben Jones and Brandon Brooks

    3. Right Tackle: I can't say I understand why the Texans cut Eric Winston, but they made the move, so they now need a right tackle.

    4. Inside Linebacker: Houston traded DeMeco Ryans, so it'll need help at this position. Signed Bradie James; re-signed Tim Dobbins

    5. Nose Tackle: This is the only weakness in Houston's front seven. The team needs a new nose tackle. Players who fit Wade Phillips' scheme possibly available in the second round are Josh Chapman and Brandon Thompson. The Texans also need defensive end depth, but acquiring a new nose tackle will allow Earl Mitchell to move outside.

    6. Strong Safety: The Glover Quin experiment is not working. He played well at times in 2011, but was far too often exposed as a liability.

    7. Kicker: Neil Rackers went 32-of-38 in 2011, but he's set to hit the market in March. Houston should retain him. Drafted Randy Bullock

    8. Punter: Brett Hartmann wasn't particularly effective as a rookie punter this past season. Making matters worse, he tore his ACL in December. Signed Donnie Jones

    9. Cornerback Depth: Jason Allen, who played well this past year, is a free agent. Brandon Harris will be expected to take on a bigger role next year, but he may not be ready. This can be fixed if a new strong safety bumps Quin back out to cornerback.

    2012 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Donnie Jones, P, Rams. Age: 32.
      Signed with Texans

      Donnie Jones averaged 44 yards per punt with more than a quarter of his tries going inside the 20.

    2. Bradie James, ILB, Cowboys. Age: 31.
      Signed with Texans

      No longer a three-down linebacker, Bradie James struggled at times in 2011.

    3. Justin Forsett, RB, Seahawks. Age: 26. -- Signed with Texans
    4. Alan Ball, CB, Cowboys. Age: 27. -- Signed with Texans
    5. Moran Norris, FB, 49ers. Age: 34. -- Signed with Texans
    6. John Beck, QB, Redskins. Age: 31. -- Signed with Texans

    Houston Texans Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Mario Williams, DE, Texans. Age: 27.
      Signed with Bills (6 years, $100 million; $50 million guaranteed)

      One of the top pass-rushers in the NFL will be allowed to hit the market because the Texans have other great rush linebackers. I'm not big on building through free agency, but teams should be selling their souls to get Williams on their roster.

    2. Arian Foster (RFA), RB, Texans. Age: 26.
      Re-signed with Texans (5 years, $43.5 million)

      Arian Foster is one of the top running backs in the NFL. He can do it all, and he proved that his 1,600 rushing yards in 2010 weren't a fluke by totaling 1,224 rushing yards and 53 receptions in 13 games this past season.

    3. Chris Myers, C/G, Texans. Age: 30.
      Re-signed with Texans (4 years, $25 million)

      Chris Myers has been exceptional as Houston's center, but his value isn't really high as it should be because he doesn't fit with non-zone-blocking teams.

    4. Neil Rackers, K, Texans. Age: 36.
      Signed with Redskins (1 year)

      Neil Rackers' field-goal percentages over the past four years: 89.3, 94.1, 90.0 and 84.2. He's 7-of-9 from 50-plus in the previous two seasons. Only his age (36) is a concern.

    5. Eric Winston, OT, Texans. Age: 28.
      Signed with Chiefs

      Eric Winston is a talented right tackle who would be a great fit for any team running a zone-blocking system. He surrendered seven sacks in 2011, but four came when T.J. Yates was inserted into the lineup, so that number is inflated. Winston's best trait is his reliability; he hasn't missed a start since 2006.

    6. Mike Brisiel, G, Texans. Age: 29.
      Signed with Raiders (5 years, $20 million)

      Mike Brisiel is a solid guard in a zone-blocking scheme. He pass protects well, though penalties are an issue.

    7. Jason Allen, CB, Texans. Age: 29.
      Signed with Bengals

      Jason Allen played surprisingly well in Wade Phillips' defense in 2011. He surrendered a completion percentage of only 50.6 and ate into Kareem Jackson's snaps late in the year.

    8. Lawrence Vickers, FB, Texans. Age: 29.
      Signed with Cowboys

      Lawrence Vickers is a decent blocker, but doesn't do anything else.

    9. Jacoby Jones, WR/KR, Texans. Age: 28.
      Signed with Ravens (2 years, $7 million)

      Jacoby Jones has never lived up to expectations as a receiver, but he's an effective return specialist. He took a punt back for a touchdown in 2011.

    10. Joel Dreessen, TE, Texans. Age: 30. -- Signed with Broncos
    11. Tim Dobbins, ILB, Texans. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Texans
    12. Kasey Studdard, G, Texans. Age: 28.
    13. Matt Leinart, QB, Texans. Age: 29. -- Signed with Raiders
    14. Tim Bulman, DE, Texans. Age: 29.
    15. Dominique Barber, S, Texans. Age: 26.
    16. Quintin Demps (RFA), S, Texans. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Texans
    17. Bryant Johnson, WR, Texans. Age: 31.
    18. Derrick Ward, RB, Texans. Age: 32.
    19. Jake Delhomme, QB, Texans. Age: 37.

    2012 NFL Free Agent Rankings Coming Soon

    Divisional Rival History:
    Indianapolis Colts: The Texans have existed now for nine years. In those nine seasons, they've only beaten the Colts thrice out of 20 times.
    Jacksonville Jaguars: The Texans have won the past three meetings.
    Tennessee Titans: The Texans would have swept this series last year if the Week 17 tilt meant anything to them.

    Features to be Posted This Offseason:
    1. 2012 NFL Draft Grades (Pick-by-Pick NFL Draft Grades as well - Live on Draft Day!)
    2. Detailed season preview
    3. Fantasy football projections
    4. Positional rankings
    5. Daily updates on free-agent signings

    More 2011 NFL Offseason Pages:

    DAL / NYG / PHI / WAS /
    CHI / DET / GB / MIN /
    ATL / CAR / NO / TB /
    ARZ / SEA / SF / STL /
    BUF / MIA / NE / NYJ /
    BAL / CIN / CLE / PIT /
    HOU / IND / JAX / TEN /
    DEN / KC / OAK / SD /

    2012 NFL Offseason Pages

    Fantasy Football Rankings - July 29

    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24

    2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23

    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1

    NFL Free Agents

    NFL Picks - Feb. 2

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