*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Texans Have Interest in Trent Brown in Free AgencyUpdated March 2, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
A year ago, new Texans general manager Brian Gaine made a hard run at New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder, offering a huge contract for the veteran blind-side protector. Rather than reunite with his former coach Bill O’Brien, Solder chose to instead sign with the New York Giants. Gaine and O’Brien signed veteran offensive linemen and used draft picks for their front, but the offensive line was as bad or worse than it was in 2017.
Upgrading the offensive line is once again a huge need for Houston, and once again, the front office is looking at a veteran from New England. Sources with the Texans say they are very interested in Patriots free agent offensive tackle Trent Brown, and Houston could make a big run at him in free agency.
The Texans need offensive line talent, but they also want to re-sign some of their own free agents, including safety Tyrann Mathieu. Houston is planning on franchise tagging defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and it also has more holes to fill in its secondary. Brown is expected to receive a big contract with plenty of teams hoping to land him, so a repeat of what happened with Solder a year ago is a possibility.
Houston’s evaluators were very impressed with how Brown played against Clowney last year in the season opener. They also thought Brown did well in the playoffs, and they like his flexibility to play left or right tackle.
Another free agent offensive linemen Texans sources say they like is Rams guard Rodger Saffold. They think Saffold could play left tackle if necessary and move back to guard when a young long-term left tackle is ready to play. Texans sources said they also like Chiefs center Mitch Morse and think Cardinals guard Mike Iupati could still be a good run blocker who might be worth signing on a short-term contract.
The Texas believe they are close to making a run at the Super Bowl, and they plan to go for that in 2019. Having better blocking is one of the critical areas for Houston to address in order to be better positioned to contend for their first Lombardi Trophy.