Houston Texans search for a receiver begins
The Houston Texans will have 12.9 million worth of cap to spend in free agency; which may not seem like a lot of space, but the Texans have one major goal to accomplish this offseason and that’s to find two viable playmaking wide receivers. Jacoby Jones left for the Baltimore Ravens with a Super Bowl ring in 2012 and Kevin Walter’s play has declined rapidly. The only real playmakers for the Texans are Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Arian Foster. That’s it, and picking one wide receiver in the draft isn’t going to fix the problem.
The Texans have to find a playmaker in free agency and the draft if they have any ambitions to finally make it to the Super Bowl. The top free agent wide receiver in 2013 is without a doubt Mike Wallace, but being the top wide receiver means he comes with a big price tag. The entire salary cap will be in play, but he is exactly the deep threat to pair next to Andre Johnson who is already transitioning into more of a possession receiver role anyways. Then Greg Jennings comes up as the most linked to the Texans, but he will come with a high price in mind. There also is the injury issue with Jennings, and you can never be too cautious when it comes to injured players.
Pairing Jennings and Johnson is a good combination, but Jennings just isn’t as explosive as he used to be. Wes Welker would be a big revenge pick to get back at the New England Patriots who ousted the Texans in the Playoffs, but Welker has always been a Patriot specific player. Meaning the Patriots always make players with a particular skill set successful in their system, but when they leave usually leads to a big drop-off in production. Welker will always be a great route runner, but his age is suspect and do the Texans know how to use him? However the receiver the Texans should target the most that won’t break the bank is Ramses Barden.
Barden isn’t a solid number one wide receiver, but he’s a consistent number two and younger than Jennings and Welker. Signing Barden and picking up an explosive wide receiver in the draft such as a Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins or even Justin Hunter can finally give the Texans the right amount of playmakers to help the offense get out of its doldrums. Other deeper options are Donnie Avery who can play the slot position very well. Jerome Simpson is an incredible athlete who just needs to bring it all together. Domenik Hixon has always been a productive number three receiver, but the main point is the Texans either go with a number two or three, and then the Texans can worry about the other position in the draft. Finding a wide receiver that can make plays is what the Texans have to find in free agency in 2013, but at least the opportunity is there to get one of them to hopefully be the missing piece to the Texans’ Super Bowl puzzle.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.