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TexansFanatic
01-19-2009, 09:08 PM
I just read Richard Justice's latest piece on the Texans.

He says: "They've made a bunch of mistakes in free agency, but the bottom line is that the Texans are poised to be a playoff contender."

I understand Rick Smith hasn't been perfect, but isn't free agency kind of a hit and miss proposition? I thought Ahman Green was a risky pickup at best right from the start because a running back simply runs out of gas at 30. It really doesn't matter how well you treat your body, age 30 is a wall of sorts. Period. I felt the same way about Rosevelt Colvin for the exact same reason.

But hasn't Smith also done really well with a number of his acquisitions? What about guys like Mike Brisiel? Tim Bulman? DelJuan Robinson? And, dare I say it---Jacques Reeves? What about Matt Turk? Eugene Wilson? Nick Ferguson? What about Andre Davis?

Hasn't Smith actually gotten more right than wrong?

Texan JBZ
01-19-2009, 09:14 PM
I just read Richard Justice's latest piece on the Texans.

He says: "They've made a bunch of mistakes in free agency, but the bottom line is that the Texans are poised to be a playoff contender."

I understand Rick Smith hasn't been perfect, but isn't free agency kind of a hit and miss proposition? I thought Ahman Green was a risky pickup at best right from the start because a running back simply runs out of gas at 30. It really doesn't matter how well you treat your body, age 30 is a wall of sorts. Period. I felt the same way about Rosevelt Colvin for the exact same reason.

But hasn't Smith also done really well with a number of his acquisitions? What about guys like Mike Brisiel? Tim Bulman? DelJuan Robinson? And, dare I say it---Jacques Reeves? What about Matt Turk? Eugene Wilson? Nick Ferguson? What about Andre Davis?

Hasn't Smith actually gotten more right than wrong?

Yes he has. You have to consider the source you got the story from. Dick Justice still has his tongs pulled way far up in his ass from the Texans getting rid of Riley. He's a joke and I never take any of his crap seriously. It's his nature to point out the bad moves without giving the guy any dues for the good moves he's made. He's got a personal problem with Rick Smith.

TheRealJoker
01-19-2009, 09:16 PM
Vonta Leach.

TexansFanatic
01-19-2009, 09:20 PM
Vonta Leach.

Awesome. Thank you.

TEXANRED
01-19-2009, 09:26 PM
Rick Smith inherited a team that was hamstrung with dead money. This is going to be the first year that he is going to be able to sign FA that might actually work out.

I will give you Green, but don't tell me Sherman didn't push hard for him. Other than that everyone signed was role players, backups, and depth.

Smith has done a fine job thus far. Now lets see what he does this off season. His first stop needs to be at the farmers market and pick us up some Peppers.

TexansFanatic
01-19-2009, 09:34 PM
Rick Smith inherited a team that was hamstrung with dead money. This is going to be the first year that he is going to be able to sign FA that might actually work out.


I'm guessing you meant to say "BIG NAME free agent". He's already signed a boatload of free agents that have worked out very well. In fact, by my count a full seven starters are free agents signed by Smith. Two others, Schaub and Myers, were acquired outside the draft by trading draft picks.

And you make a great point about Ahman Green. I bet Sherman did push hard for him.

TEXANRED
01-19-2009, 09:36 PM
I'm guessing you meant to say "BIG NAME free agent". He's already signed a boatload of free agents that have worked out very well. In fact, by my count a full seven starters are free agents signed by Smith. Two others, Schaub and Myers, were acquired outside the draft by trading draft picks.

And you make a great point about Ahman Green. I bet Sherman did push hard for him.

You are correct sir.

Lucky
01-19-2009, 09:43 PM
I just read Richard Justice's latest piece on the Texans.
Admitting the problem is the first step.


But hasn't Smith also done really well with a number of his acquisitions? What about guys like Mike Brisiel? Tim Bulman? DelJuan Robinson? And, dare I say it---Jacques Reeves? What about Matt Turk? Eugene Wilson? Nick Ferguson? What about Andre Davis?

Rick Smith inherited a team that was hamstrung with dead money.
As you guys have pointed out, Smith (and Kubiak) have done a good job (not great) with the hand they've been dealt regarding free agents. And the elephant in the room is that the Texans are not yet an attractive landing spot for free agents. Which is why a lot of fans will end up disappointed this offseason. Peppers won't be wearing Steel Blue next season, but Bertrand Berry might be. Kubiak and Smith will have make that reality work.

dalemurphy
01-19-2009, 10:06 PM
Admitting the problem is the first step.




As you guys have pointed out, Smith (and Kubiak) have done a good job (not great) with the hand they've been dealt regarding free agents. And the elephant in the room is that the Texans are not yet an attractive landing spot for free agents. Which is why a lot of fans will end up disappointed this offseason. Peppers won't be wearing Steel Blue next season, but Bertrand Berry might be. Kubiak and Smith will have make that reality work.

I totally agree... And, for relatively young men and this being their first GM and Head Coaching job, respectively, I'd say that's a heck of a foundation and am very much looking forward to how good they will become at running this team.

p.s. You don't want Peppers as a FA. He'd be too expensive and that contract would cause other issues with other players. Not to mention the fact that he disappeared for about 1.5 years and then had a good year once his contract was up... that's a little concerning, no?

D-ReK
01-19-2009, 10:17 PM
Rick Smith was hired as GM on 6/5/2006. Since then, these have been our pickups:

6/13/2006: FB Nick Luchey -- He was ok and served his purpose as a camp body
7/30/2006: CB Dexter McCleon -- He was decent vet depth in 2006
8/4/2006: CB Earthwind Moreland -- Haha what a name. Can't say I remember him
8/14/2006: DE Darrell Wright -- Never heard of him
8/16/2006: LB Trent Bray -- Rookie who had some promise but never played
8/24/2006: LB Courtney Watson -- Decent LB. I don't think he made the team
9/5/2006: RB Ron Dayne -- Serviceable, though he was hated by many
9/7/2006: DT Thomas Johnson -- I remember thinking he looked better than Travis Johnson
10/9/2006: FB Vonta Leach -- Orgazmic signing
11/1/2006: CB Dexter Wynn -- Decent PR who played a little CB
11/14/2006: CB Von Hutchins -- Decent CB who we lost in FA to the Falcons
11/14/2006: DT Cedric Killings -- Looked good until his unfortunate injury
11/14/2006: OT Mike Pearson -- Never played
11/21/2006: S Michael Stone -- I don't think he played much
1/2/2007: TE Joel Dreessen -- Good signing. I'm higher on him than most
1/9/2007: CB Jason Horton -- Placed on IR during the preseason
3/5/2007: RB Ahman Green -- FAIL
3/7/2007: LB Danny Clark -- Decent SLB for us when healthy
3/9/2007: OT Jordan Black -- FAIL
3/15/2007: DT Jeff Zgonina -- Decent rotation guy
3/21/2007: LB Shawn Barber -- Injured all season
3/22/2007: Traded for QB Matt Schaub -- WIN
3/23/2007: Released Carr and DD/W -- WIN
4/5/2007: CB Jamar Fletcher -- He was ok, I guess
4/12/2007: WR Andre Davis -- Pretty good 2007, slipped in 2008
5/10/2007: Signed Deljuan Robinson, Darius Walker and others as UDFAs -- Deljuan rocks!
7/9/2007: WR Bethel Johnson -- Didn't make the team
7/9/2007: LB Zac Woodfin -- Didn't make the team
7/10/2007: DT Thomas Smith -- Don't remember him
7/27/2007: WR Keenan McCardell -- Didn't make the team
7/28/2007: OT Kevin Barry -- One of Sherman's guys. Didn't play much if at all
7/30/2007: RB Patrick Pass -- I don't think he made the team
8/14/2007: CB Tyrone Poole -- I don't think he made the team
9/1/2007: Traded Babin for Boulware -- I still don't like the trade. At least Babin is still in the league
9/3/2007: OT Rashad Butler -- By all accounts is developing nicely
9/11/2007: S Will Demps -- Pro Bowl alternate. Good low risk signing
10/10/2007: RB Adimchinobe Echemandu -- He looked decent in limited duty
10/24/2007: QB Shane Boyd -- He looked good in preseason
10/30/2007: QB Craig Nall -- Never took a snap
11/13/2007: S Curome Cox -- Decent ST player
12/4/2007: OG Mike Brisiel to active roster -- Solid starter
1/10/2008: WR LeRon McCoy -- Looked good before getting released. I wouldn't mind having his brother
1/15/2008: OC Chukky Okobi -- Never played
3/1/2008: CB Jacques Reeves -- He played ok at times. Hopefully Gibbs can improve him
3/3/2008: LB Kevin Bentley -- Looked good when forced to start
3/13/2008: RB Chris Brown -- FAIL
3/14/2008: LB Chaun Thompson -- Wasn't the pass rusher we thought he'd be
3/17/2008: Traded for Chris Myers -- Pretty good move. He needs to get stronger
3/24/2008: QB Quinn Gray -- Insurance that we didn't need since we didn't trade Sage
6/16/2008: DE/LB Rosevelt Colvin -- FAIL
7/31/2008: RB Mike Bell -- Wasn't in shape and got cut
8/18/2008: RB Marcel Shipp -- Didn't make the team
9/3/2008: S Eugene Wilson -- Good signing
11/19/2008: DE Jesse Nading signed to active roster -- He looked decent on ST
11/26/2008: CB Matterral Richardson signed from Redskins PS -- WHO?!?
12/3/2008: LS Clark Harris signed to active roster -- Didn't look bad replacing Pittman
12/17/2008: CB David Pittman signed to active roster -- Don't recall seeing him play

Conclusion: To say they've made a "bunch" of mistakes in free agency is fair, since they've made more than three mistakes. However, they have had far more successes than failures in the free agent market. Rick Smith has shown an ability to add good talent from other team once the rosters are trimmed to 53, and that's an invaluable asset. A few of our under the radar signing have panned out, but our attempts at making a big splash haven't. Perhaps the front office should follow their instincts more often on players that they feel have a quality to thrive in our system as opposed to chasing the "big name", because it failed with Green, Brown, and Colvin. Heading into this offseason, we should expect more of the same. We're likely going to target role players who can start in a pinch then try to get our starters through the draft while hoping guys like Moulden, Reeves, Bennett, Okoye, Okam, Adibi, Diles, Barber, Bulman, and Robinson continue to develop and become either good starters or quality depth.

Ole Miss Texan
01-19-2009, 10:20 PM
D-Rek... I must spread rep around :(

I've been really pleased with Smith. Sure you can give a couple exceptions like Green but IMO he was worth the risk. It didn't work out so move on. It's not like he's been signing all these guy or making trades for all these players that don't fit and then give them a big pay day.

He's done really well with guys to just help the foundation of this team which is what I'm most concerned with right now.

I suspect he's also just as worried about extending guys like Demeco to stay on this team. Andre Johnson... check. We'll see about Dunta here soon enough and hopefully we can get to Demeco, Daniels, etc.

gtexan02
01-19-2009, 10:25 PM
The best thing Smith has done in free agency is avoid overpaying guys. Our last GM had a habit of signing mediocre guys who didn't work out to enormous contracts.

This GM has a habit of signing mediocre guys who don't work out to reasonable contracts.

Its been much better

JamesC
01-19-2009, 10:32 PM
So is Chris Brown(running back) done, or will they try to give him another look in mini/training camp? I personally think its just a matter of time before he's injured again.

TexansFanatic
01-19-2009, 10:33 PM
Rick Smith was hired as GM on 6/5/2006. Since then, these have been our pickups:

6/13/2006: FB Nick Luchey -- He was ok and served his purpose as a camp body
7/30/2006: CB Dexter McCleon -- He was decent vet depth in 2006
8/4/2006: CB Earthwind Moreland -- Haha what a name. Can't say I remember him
8/14/2006: DE Darrell Wright -- Never heard of him
8/16/2006: LB Trent Bray -- Rookie who had some promise but never played
8/24/2006: LB Courtney Watson -- Decent LB. I don't think he made the team
9/5/2006: RB Ron Dayne -- Serviceable, though he was hated by many
9/7/2006: DT Thomas Johnson -- I remember thinking he looked better than Travis Johnson
10/9/2006: FB Vonta Leach -- Orgazmic signing
11/1/2006: CB Dexter Wynn -- Decent PR who played a little CB
11/14/2006: CB Von Hutchins -- Decent CB who we lost in FA to the Falcons
11/14/2006: DT Cedric Killings -- Looked good until his unfortunate injury
11/14/2006: OT Mike Pearson -- Never played
11/21/2006: S Michael Stone -- I don't think he played much
1/2/2007: TE Joel Dreessen -- Good signing. I'm higher on him than most
1/9/2007: CB Jason Horton -- Placed on IR during the preseason
3/5/2007: RB Ahman Green -- FAIL
3/7/2007: LB Danny Clark -- Decent SLB for us when healthy
3/9/2007: OT Jordan Black -- FAIL
3/15/2007: DT Jeff Zgonina -- Decent rotation guy
3/21/2007: LB Shawn Barber -- Injured all season
3/22/2007: Traded for QB Matt Schaub -- WIN
3/23/2007: Released Carr and DD/W -- WIN
4/5/2007: CB Jamar Fletcher -- He was ok, I guess
4/12/2007: WR Andre Davis -- Pretty good 2007, slipped in 2008
5/10/2007: Signed Deljuan Robinson, Darius Walker and others as UDFAs -- Deljuan rocks!
7/9/2007: WR Bethel Johnson -- Didn't make the team
7/9/2007: LB Zac Woodfin -- Didn't make the team
7/10/2007: DT Thomas Smith -- Don't remember him
7/27/2007: WR Keenan McCardell -- Didn't make the team
7/28/2007: OT Kevin Barry -- One of Sherman's guys. Didn't play much if at all
7/30/2007: RB Patrick Pass -- I don't think he made the team
8/14/2007: CB Tyrone Poole -- I don't think he made the team
9/1/2007: Traded Babin for Boulware -- I still don't like the trade. At least Babin is still in the league
9/3/2007: OT Rashad Butler -- By all accounts is developing nicely
9/11/2007: S Will Demps -- Pro Bowl alternate. Good low risk signing
10/10/2007: RB Adimchinobe Echemandu -- He looked decent in limited duty
10/24/2007: QB Shane Boyd -- He looked good in preseason
10/30/2007: QB Craig Nall -- Never took a snap
11/13/2007: S Curome Cox -- Decent ST player
12/4/2007: OG Mike Brisiel to active roster -- Solid starter
1/10/2008: WR LeRon McCoy -- Looked good before getting released. I wouldn't mind having his brother
1/15/2008: OC Chukky Okobi -- Never played
3/1/2008: CB Jacques Reeves -- He played ok at times. Hopefully Gibbs can improve him
3/3/2008: LB Kevin Bentley -- Looked good when forced to start
3/13/2008: RB Chris Brown -- FAIL
3/14/2008: LB Chaun Thompson -- Wasn't the pass rusher we thought he'd be
3/17/2008: Traded for Chris Myers -- Pretty good move. He needs to get stronger
3/24/2008: QB Quinn Gray -- Insurance that we didn't need since we didn't trade Sage
6/16/2008: DE/LB Rosevelt Colvin -- FAIL
7/31/2008: RB Mike Bell -- Wasn't in shape and got cut
8/18/2008: RB Marcel Shipp -- Didn't make the team
9/3/2008: S Eugene Wilson -- Good signing
11/19/2008: DE Jesse Nading signed to active roster -- He looked decent on ST
11/26/2008: CB Matterral Richardson signed from Redskins PS -- WHO?!?
12/3/2008: LS Clark Harris signed to active roster -- Didn't look bad replacing Pittman
12/17/2008: CB David Pittman signed to active roster -- Don't recall seeing him play

Conclusion: To say they've made a "bunch" of mistakes in free agency is fair, since they've made more than three mistakes. However, they have had far more successes than failures in the free agent market. Rick Smith has shown an ability to add good talent from other team once the rosters are trimmed to 53, and that's an invaluable asset. A few of our under the radar signing have panned out, but our attempts at making a big splash haven't. Perhaps the front office should follow their instincts more often on players that they feel have a quality to thrive in our system as opposed to chasing the "big name", because it failed with Green, Brown, and Colvin. Heading into this offseason, we should expect more of the same. We're likely going to target role players who can start in a pinch then try to get our starters through the draft while hoping guys like Moulden, Reeves, Bennett, Okoye, Okam, Adibi, Diles, Barber, Bulman, and Robinson continue to develop and become either good starters or quality depth.

Outstanding post. I knew I could count on someone on this board to do a comprehensive breakdown of Smith's track record in free agency. Well done and thanks.

Norg
01-19-2009, 10:48 PM
"Richard Justice's latest piece "

can u post a link of that i would like to read that ????

and looking at that list

he made like 70% of the wrong decesions and about 30% right

thats not really good IMO infact thats below average its "poor" Rick Smith is fired right ?????

D-ReK
01-19-2009, 10:51 PM
"Richard Justice's latest piece "

can u post a link of that i would like to read that ????

Dick Justice sounds like a failed penile liberation group (link) (http://blogs.chron.com/sportsjustice/archives/2009/01/only_denver_bro.html)

The Pencil Neck
01-19-2009, 10:53 PM
I didn't see Cecil Sapp in there.

Hasn't he given us some ST play?

TexansFanatic
01-19-2009, 10:55 PM
Richard Justice's latest piece.....

Is he wearing a variety of toupees now?

dalemurphy
01-19-2009, 10:59 PM
Rick Smith was hired as GM on 6/5/2006. Since then, these have been our pickups:

6/13/2006: FB Nick Luchey -- He was ok and served his purpose as a camp body
7/30/2006: CB Dexter McCleon -- He was decent vet depth in 2006
8/4/2006: CB Earthwind Moreland -- Haha what a name. Can't say I remember him
8/14/2006: DE Darrell Wright -- Never heard of him
8/16/2006: LB Trent Bray -- Rookie who had some promise but never played
8/24/2006: LB Courtney Watson -- Decent LB. I don't think he made the team
9/5/2006: RB Ron Dayne -- Serviceable, though he was hated by many
9/7/2006: DT Thomas Johnson -- I remember thinking he looked better than Travis Johnson
10/9/2006: FB Vonta Leach -- Orgazmic signing
11/1/2006: CB Dexter Wynn -- Decent PR who played a little CB
11/14/2006: CB Von Hutchins -- Decent CB who we lost in FA to the Falcons
11/14/2006: DT Cedric Killings -- Looked good until his unfortunate injury
11/14/2006: OT Mike Pearson -- Never played
11/21/2006: S Michael Stone -- I don't think he played much
1/2/2007: TE Joel Dreessen -- Good signing. I'm higher on him than most
1/9/2007: CB Jason Horton -- Placed on IR during the preseason
3/5/2007: RB Ahman Green -- FAIL
3/7/2007: LB Danny Clark -- Decent SLB for us when healthy
3/9/2007: OT Jordan Black -- FAIL
3/15/2007: DT Jeff Zgonina -- Decent rotation guy
3/21/2007: LB Shawn Barber -- Injured all season
3/22/2007: Traded for QB Matt Schaub -- WIN
3/23/2007: Released Carr and DD/W -- WIN
4/5/2007: CB Jamar Fletcher -- He was ok, I guess
4/12/2007: WR Andre Davis -- Pretty good 2007, slipped in 2008
5/10/2007: Signed Deljuan Robinson, Darius Walker and others as UDFAs -- Deljuan rocks!
7/9/2007: WR Bethel Johnson -- Didn't make the team
7/9/2007: LB Zac Woodfin -- Didn't make the team
7/10/2007: DT Thomas Smith -- Don't remember him
7/27/2007: WR Keenan McCardell -- Didn't make the team
7/28/2007: OT Kevin Barry -- One of Sherman's guys. Didn't play much if at all
7/30/2007: RB Patrick Pass -- I don't think he made the team
8/14/2007: CB Tyrone Poole -- I don't think he made the team
9/1/2007: Traded Babin for Boulware -- I still don't like the trade. At least Babin is still in the league
9/3/2007: OT Rashad Butler -- By all accounts is developing nicely
9/11/2007: S Will Demps -- Pro Bowl alternate. Good low risk signing
10/10/2007: RB Adimchinobe Echemandu -- He looked decent in limited duty
10/24/2007: QB Shane Boyd -- He looked good in preseason
10/30/2007: QB Craig Nall -- Never took a snap
11/13/2007: S Curome Cox -- Decent ST player
12/4/2007: OG Mike Brisiel to active roster -- Solid starter
1/10/2008: WR LeRon McCoy -- Looked good before getting released. I wouldn't mind having his brother
1/15/2008: OC Chukky Okobi -- Never played
3/1/2008: CB Jacques Reeves -- He played ok at times. Hopefully Gibbs can improve him
3/3/2008: LB Kevin Bentley -- Looked good when forced to start
3/13/2008: RB Chris Brown -- FAIL
3/14/2008: LB Chaun Thompson -- Wasn't the pass rusher we thought he'd be
3/17/2008: Traded for Chris Myers -- Pretty good move. He needs to get stronger
3/24/2008: QB Quinn Gray -- Insurance that we didn't need since we didn't trade Sage
6/16/2008: DE/LB Rosevelt Colvin -- FAIL
7/31/2008: RB Mike Bell -- Wasn't in shape and got cut
8/18/2008: RB Marcel Shipp -- Didn't make the team
9/3/2008: S Eugene Wilson -- Good signing
11/19/2008: DE Jesse Nading signed to active roster -- He looked decent on ST
11/26/2008: CB Matterral Richardson signed from Redskins PS -- WHO?!?
12/3/2008: LS Clark Harris signed to active roster -- Didn't look bad replacing Pittman
12/17/2008: CB David Pittman signed to active roster -- Don't recall seeing him play

Conclusion: To say they've made a "bunch" of mistakes in free agency is fair, since they've made more than three mistakes. However, they have had far more successes than failures in the free agent market. Rick Smith has shown an ability to add good talent from other team once the rosters are trimmed to 53, and that's an invaluable asset. A few of our under the radar signing have panned out, but our attempts at making a big splash haven't. Perhaps the front office should follow their instincts more often on players that they feel have a quality to thrive in our system as opposed to chasing the "big name", because it failed with Green, Brown, and Colvin. Heading into this offseason, we should expect more of the same. We're likely going to target role players who can start in a pinch then try to get our starters through the draft while hoping guys like Moulden, Reeves, Bennett, Okoye, Okam, Adibi, Diles, Barber, Bulman, and Robinson continue to develop and become either good starters or quality depth.

I just don't see signings like CBrown, Colvin, SBarber, etc... mistakes. They were zero risk signings in an effort to hit a home run and fill needs that went unfilled in the draft without spending money or trading value. Now, if we had an opportunity to sign CBrown or MTurner and simply chose CBrown.... then yeah, that's a mistake. However, that isn't really how I see things transpired. Clearly the AGreen signing was a failed risk. Again, though, I don't really criticize the move. We needed a RB and had so many needs that off-season and were in bad cap shape as well. If I remember correctly, it essentially was a choice between Green and THenry- not really a right answer there.

I think this off-season is the first one that you can really grade Rick Smith without using a curve. This year, we only have moderate needs and aren't hamstrung by a poor cap situation which he did not create. I think the next 6 months are pretty defining for Smith as a GM. Anyone that considers him a failure or an unmitigated success at this point is running with some sort of agenda. I believe in the guy and am hopeful but I can't sit here and say that he's proven himself to be an excellent GM. And, anyone that argues he's been bad is probably not worth listening to either.

b0ng
01-19-2009, 11:06 PM
"Richard Justice's latest piece "

can u post a link of that i would like to read that ????

and looking at that list

he made like 70% of the wrong decesions and about 30% right

thats not really good IMO infact thats below average its "poor" Rick Smith is fired right ?????

I see probably 1 "Doh!" move that people should ***** about. That's the Ahman Green signing. Other than that Smith has played it safe and not shelled out much money except to depth guys in FA. Other than that, people may quibble about the Reeves signing, but the guy has performed to some capacity for 16 games. He's middle of the road as a CB, and he's got a middle of the road contract. Ahman Green has given us absolutely nothing since he's been here, where as Reeves has at least showed up for the games. I'm not going to gripe about signing depth chart players for small contracts and they don't work out. Green, Weaver and Greenwood are the big cost : performance guys that should probably get cut (Although Weaver may stay on because of cap implications). Out of two years our FA periods have been nothing that was exciting, but nothing that totally bit us in the ass either.

Overall if Smith is building up the cap so that he can make a big splash in a coming off season, lets just hope he hits as much there as he does in the draft.

EDIT: Oh and richard justice is a piece alright. or a tool. whatever.

D-ReK
01-19-2009, 11:22 PM
I didn't see Cecil Sapp in there.

Hasn't he given us some ST play?

Good find. He was signed on 9/30/2008 when we placed CC Brown on IR. Also, Moats was signed to the active roster from the practice squad on 10/26/2008. Sapp was pretty good on special teams and Moats was more than serviceable as Slaton's backup once Green went on IR. Two more good finds by Smith.

I just don't see signings like CBrown, Colvin, SBarber, etc... mistakes. They were zero risk signings in an effort to hit a home run and fill needs that went unfilled in the draft without spending money or trading value. Now, if we had an opportunity to sign CBrown or MTurner and simply chose CBrown.... then yeah, that's a mistake. However, that isn't really how I see things transpired. Clearly the AGreen signing was a failed risk. Again, though, I don't really criticize the move. We needed a RB and had so many needs that off-season and were in bad cap shape as well. If I remember correctly, it essentially was a choice between Green and THenry- not really a right answer there.

That can be said for Colvin, but not for Brown or Shawn Barber since they were signed before the draft. If anything, they were signed to be stop-gaps so that the need at their respective positions wouldn't be so great that it would cause us to reach on a player in the draft. Just my personal opinion, but if you gamble on a player with an overwhelming history of injuries and he doesn't even make it out of the preseason, the signing was a mistake any way you slice it. The fact that Brown and Colvin didn't pan out has not been palpable, thankfully, but that doesn't change the fact that they didn't end up being the players we thought they would be. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and without Green, Brown, and Colvin failing, we wouldn't have the promise that is Steve Slaton or Tim Bulman, so in the end, the juice was worth the squeeze. However, to spin these failures and anything but that is just wrong.

I think this off-season is the first one that you can really grade Rick Smith without using a curve. This year, we only have moderate needs and aren't hamstrung by a poor cap situation which he did not create. I think the next 6 months are pretty defining for Smith as a GM. Anyone that considers him a failure or an unmitigated success at this point is running with some sort of agenda. I believe in the guy and am hopeful but I can't sit here and say that he's proven himself to be an excellent GM. And, anyone that argues he's been bad is probably not worth listening to either.

You may be right since this is the first offseason where we won't go into it crippled by Casserly's idiocy. That being said, we may be adding on some dead money by releasing Weaver, Green, and Greenwood. The fact is that if we wanted to sign a high dollar player in the past, we could have puled some strings and got the deal done. Dan Snyder is able to pull it off every offseason. The fact is that the next time a high dollar FA pans out for us it will be the first time and we'd be wise to stay away from players who are just looking for a big pay day. I will once again reiterate that Smith has proven to be good at finding diamond-in-the-rough types, and we'd be wise to follow that route and develop our own talent. I'd rather be a team like the Steelers than a team like the Redskins, who win the offseason battles every year but fail to see it transfer to the field. I don't believe it would be fair to call Smith "excellent" at this point in time, but anybody without an agenda knows that he has been very good up until this point, especially given the mess that he has inherited.

maddogmrb
01-20-2009, 08:53 AM
My Takes on Them Below:
Rick Smith was hired as GM on 6/5/2006. Since then, these have been our pickups:

6/13/2006: FB Nick Luchey -- He was ok and served his purpose as a camp body NEVER CONTRIBUTED.
7/30/2006: CB Dexter McCleon -- He was decent vet depth in 2006 MEDIOCRE
8/4/2006: CB Earthwind Moreland -- Haha what a name. Can't say I remember him NEVER CONTRIBUTED
8/14/2006: DE Darrell Wright -- Never heard of him NEVER CONTRIBUTED
8/16/2006: LB Trent Bray -- Rookie who had some promise but never played NEVER CONTRIBUTED
8/24/2006: LB Courtney Watson -- Decent LB. I don't think he made the team NEVER CONTRIBUTED
9/5/2006: RB Ron Dayne -- Serviceable, though he was hated by many MEDIOCRE, ENDED OUR LT TEXAN CAREER, SEEMED TO LOSE AS MANY YARDS AS HE GAINED
9/7/2006: DT Thomas Johnson -- I remember thinking he looked better than Travis Johnson AGREED - MEDIOCRE
10/9/2006: FB Vonta Leach -- Orgazmic signing EXCELLENT CONTRIBUTOR
11/1/2006: CB Dexter Wynn -- Decent PR who played a little CB MEDIOCRE
11/14/2006: CB Von Hutchins -- Decent CB who we lost in FA to the Falcons MEDIOCRE
11/14/2006: DT Cedric Killings -- Looked good until his unfortunate injury LESS THAN MEDIOCRE
11/14/2006: OT Mike Pearson -- Never played NEVER CONTRIBUTED
11/21/2006: S Michael Stone -- I don't think he played much NEVER CONTRIBUTED
1/2/2007: TE Joel Dreessen -- Good signing. I'm higher on him than most GOOD CONTRIBUTOR
1/9/2007: CB Jason Horton -- Placed on IR during the preseason NEVER CONTRIBUTED
3/5/2007: RB Ahman Green -- FAIL LIMITED CONTRIBUTOR
3/7/2007: LB Danny Clark -- Decent SLB for us when healthy MEDIOCRE
3/9/2007: OT Jordan Black -- FAIL NEVER CONTRIBUTED
3/15/2007: DT Jeff Zgonina -- Decent rotation guy LESS THAN MEDIOCRE
3/21/2007: LB Shawn Barber -- Injured all season NEVER CONTRIBUTED
3/22/2007: Traded for QB Matt Schaub -- WIN GOOD CONTRIBUTOR WHEN HEALTHY
3/23/2007: Released Carr and DD/W -- WIN NOT A FACTOR
4/5/2007: CB Jamar Fletcher -- He was ok, I guess LESS THAN MEDIOCRE
4/12/2007: WR Andre Davis -- Pretty good 2007, slipped in 2008 GOOD CONTRIBUTOR
5/10/2007: Signed Deljuan Robinson, GOOD CONTRIBUTOR
Darius Walker MEDIOCRE
and others as UDFAs -- Deljuan rocks!
7/9/2007: WR Bethel Johnson -- Didn't make the team NEVER CONTRIBUTED
7/9/2007: LB Zac Woodfin -- Didn't make the team NEVER CONTRIBUTED
7/10/2007: DT Thomas Smith -- Don't remember him NEVER CONTRIBUTED
7/27/2007: WR Keenan McCardell -- Didn't make the team NEVER CONTRIBUTED
7/28/2007: OT Kevin Barry -- One of Sherman's guys. Didn't play much if at all NEVER CONTRIBUTED
7/30/2007: RB Patrick Pass -- I don't think he made the team NEVER CONTRIBUTED
8/14/2007: CB Tyrone Poole -- I don't think he made the team NEVER CONTRIBUTED
9/1/2007: Traded Babin for Boulware -- I still don't like the trade. At least Babin is still in the league NEVER CONTRIBUTED
9/3/2007: OT Rashad Butler -- By all accounts is developing nicely NEVER CONTRIBUTED
9/11/2007: S Will Demps -- Pro Bowl alternate. Good low risk signing GOOD CONTRIBUTOR
10/10/2007: RB Adimchinobe Echemandu -- He looked decent in limited duty NEVER CONTRIBUTED
10/24/2007: QB Shane Boyd -- He looked good in preseason NEVER CONTRIBUTED
10/30/2007: QB Craig Nall -- Never took a snap NEVER CONTRIBUTED
11/13/2007: S Curome Cox -- Decent ST player MEDIOCRE
12/4/2007: OG Mike Brisiel to active roster -- Solid starter GOOD CONTRIBUTOR
1/10/2008: WR LeRon McCoy -- Looked good before getting released. I wouldn't mind having his brother NEVER CONTRIBUTED
1/15/2008: OC Chukky Okobi -- Never played NEVER CONTRIBUTED
3/1/2008: CB Jacques Reeves -- He played ok at times. Hopefully Gibbs can improve him MEDIOCRE
3/3/2008: LB Kevin Bentley -- Looked good when forced to start GOOD CONTRIBUTOR
3/13/2008: RB Chris Brown -- FAIL NEVER CONTRIBUTED
3/14/2008: LB Chaun Thompson -- Wasn't the pass rusher we thought he'd be NEVER CONTRIBUTED
3/17/2008: Traded for Chris Myers -- Pretty good move. He needs to get stronger MEDIOCRE
3/24/2008: QB Quinn Gray -- Insurance that we didn't need since we didn't trade Sage NEVER CONTRIBUTED
6/16/2008: DE/LB Rosevelt Colvin -- FAIL NEVER CONTRIBUTED
7/31/2008: RB Mike Bell -- Wasn't in shape and got cut NEVER CONTRIBUTED
8/18/2008: RB Marcel Shipp -- Didn't make the team NEVER CONTRIBUTED
9/3/2008: S Eugene Wilson -- Good signing GOOD CONTRIBUTOR
11/19/2008: DE Jesse Nading signed to active roster -- He looked decent on ST LIMITED CONTRIBUTOR
11/26/2008: CB Matterral Richardson signed from Redskins PS -- WHO?!? NEVER CONTRIBUTED
12/3/2008: LS Clark Harris signed to active roster -- Didn't look bad replacing Pittman LIMITED CONTRIBUTOR
12/17/2008: CB David Pittman signed to active roster -- Don't recall seeing him play NEVER CONTRIBUTED


NEVER CONTRIBUTED = 32
LESS THAN MEDIOCRE = 3
MEDIOCRE = 10
LIMITED CONTRIBUTOR = 3
GOOD CONTRIBUTOR = 8
EXCELLENT CONTRIBUTOR = 1


Draw your own conclusions. IMO, to have only 1 excellent contributor out of all the FA signings for this team is not a very good record. I guess what we see above is a good definition of mediocrity.

Texan_Bill
01-20-2009, 09:15 AM
First off, I refuse to read Dick's piece.

Second;

NEVER CONTRIBUTED = 32
LESS THAN MEDIOCRE = 3
MEDIOCRE = 10
LIMITED CONTRIBUTOR = 3
GOOD CONTRIBUTOR = 8
EXCELLENT CONTRIBUTOR = 1


Many of the Never Contributed and / or less than Mediocre signings were merely to:
a) Have bodies in camp
b) Help with the rounding out the roster as Smith and Kubiak were dumping many of Casserly / Capers guys.
c) With very few exceptions, those guys cost next to nothing.

Hooston Texan
01-20-2009, 09:46 AM
These posts drawing conclusions from tallies of (alleged) successes/failures are silly. Every team signs a large number of players who are expected to be no more than training camp bodies. I bet if you did this exercise for every team in the league, you'd see percentages of "successes" that are very similar. (Don't get me wrong, the listing and analysis was a worthwhile effort, but the conclusions based on percentages of "successes" or "failures" is limited.)

To evaluate a signing, you need to assess the cost and the performance. The vast majority of the listed signing were "off the street" guys who represented almost no risk. We don't have to outbid other teams for these guys; we just have to find them. When one of those guys becomes an actual contributer, that is a major coup. We've had a few of these: Bulman, Deljuan, Briesel.

In a different category are the in-demand free agents that we have to bid against other teams for (even if that bidding isn't very intense). These are the guys like Reeves, Green, Colvin, Greenwood, Weaver, etc. As Lucky pointed out, we have not been an attractive destination for the kind of free agents everyone wants: the guys who want to win. Instead, we've had to overpay to compensate for the fact that the player would be joining a losing team. That is changing as our improvement is marked around the league.

The Green signing was a failure because he got hurt. He was never intended to be anything more than a stop-gap. We had indications that injuries could be an issue, but we swallowed hard and took the chance. But, even so, he's not on the books for very much money going forward. His contract is far from an albatross around our necks (contrast: Anthony Weaver); in fact, his production was disproportionate to his pay only in 2007. Smith did a great job rewriting the deal in 2008 so that we only paid for the game he played. And when he played, he was productive. So even that failure is limited.

The fact is that free agency--particularly in the high-end market--is a dicey proposition. The Niners and Raiders spent heavily the last two seasons with little to show for it. [And I can't believe that someone here thinks we should be emulating Dan Snyder--exactly what have the Redskins accomplished during his tenure? Two playoff wins in ten years--OK, that's better than Dallas (and us), but no great shakes any way you slice it.] To be sure, you can hit home runs like the Falcons did with Michael Turner. But for every great signing, I would guess there are three (at least) that teams really regret shortly thereafter as the massive contracts devour cap space with little production in return.

badboy
01-20-2009, 09:49 AM
Free agency is like an Easter egg hunt. You can only pick up what is there. Sometimes it is the chocolate bunny and sometimes it is just an egg that looks pretty. You don't know if the egg is bad until you try to use it.

I don't expect a chocolate bunny this off season, but a good egg or two can strengthen the team.

Runner
01-20-2009, 10:00 AM
Smith is due his fair share of credit for consecutive 8-8 seasons.

TexansFanatic
01-20-2009, 10:18 AM
Free agency is like an Easter egg hunt. You can only pick up what is there. Sometimes it is the chocolate bunny and sometimes it is just an egg that looks pretty. You don't know if the egg is bad until you try to use it.

I don't expect a chocolate bunny this off season, but a good egg or two can strengthen the team.

Wow! That's a pretty sweet analogy. Wish I had come up with it. ;-)

DoCRoN
01-20-2009, 10:59 AM
Was Moats a FA pickup?

TexansFanatic
01-20-2009, 12:53 PM
Was Moats a FA pickup?

Yes.

Specnatz
01-20-2009, 01:36 PM
6/16/2008: DE/LB Rosevelt Colvin -- FAIL

Why is this considered a fail? Yes he was signed for a $1.343 million and change, but we lacked a pass rusher and we had no idea how much he had left in the tank. What would have been a huge fail is keeping him and releasing a player that they had kept. I recall the comments were that he was released as to keep a more versetile player versus just a situational pass rusher. Going just by memory (going to take a while to find it) I think it was Earl Cochran that whom was kept versus Colvin.

Most teams have this type of signing from time to time and it is the better teams that will cut this player versus keep them because of the $1 mill salary.

infantrycak
01-20-2009, 02:57 PM
FYI--Colvin cost the Texans $843k not the full contract amount.

Specnatz
01-20-2009, 03:09 PM
FYI--Colvin cost the Texans $843k not the full contract amount.

I thought that was just for 2008 and another $500k at least that is what the guys at Bullseye said.

http://www.inthebullseye.com/cap2009.html

infantrycak
01-20-2009, 03:11 PM
I thought that was just for 2008 and another $500k at least that is what the guys at Bullseye said.

http://www.inthebullseye.com/cap2009.html

Oops--didn't realize they split such a small amount. Never mind.

badboy
01-20-2009, 03:19 PM
Why is this considered a fail? Yes he was signed for a $1.343 million and change, but we lacked a pass rusher and we had no idea how much he had left in the tank. What would have been a huge fail is keeping him and releasing a player that they had kept. I recall the comments were that he was released as to keep a more versetile player versus just a situational pass rusher. Going just by memory (going to take a while to find it) I think it was Earl Cochran that whom was kept versus Colvin.

Most teams have this type of signing from time to time and it is the better teams that will cut this player versus keep them because of the $1 mill salary.I tend to think as you. If memory serves, there was not a lot of FA we could have gone after and many thought it could have worked. To me trying to plug a leak with a cheap bubble gum is better than buying a roll of higher priced duct tape only to find out the tape is no better than the gum. Both are sticky; one hurts when you pull it off but the other you just spit out and keep on strolling.:shades:

TimeKiller
01-20-2009, 04:59 PM
NEVER CONTRIBUTED = 32

Draw your own conclusions. IMO, to have only 1 excellent contributor out of all the FA signings for this team is not a very good record. I guess what we see above is a good definition of mediocrity.

Are you really going to count EARTHWIND MORELAND as a bad signing? Did he get his 60 bucks for showing up that one day? Check's in the mail? Clearly Free Agency has been used to build the bottom up, and the Draft from the Top down. There is ZERO denying that the depth of this team is light years ahead of the 2002-2005 team.

Hervoyel
01-20-2009, 05:06 PM
Did anyone mention Stanley McClover? I believe he was a Rick Smith signing and I am looking forward to seeing him in camp this year. He ended up on IR but I think we might be looking at a guy who can do what Colvin couldn't. He's going to impress a lot of people in 2009. At least that's what I believe.

TexansFanatic
01-20-2009, 07:00 PM
Did anyone mention Stanley McClover? I believe he was a Rick Smith signing and I am looking forward to seeing him in camp this year. He ended up on IR but I think we might be looking at a guy who can do what Colvin couldn't. He's going to impress a lot of people in 2009. At least that's what I believe.

I just looked up his BIO on the Texans site. Looks kind of promising! Good call.

DocBar
01-20-2009, 09:41 PM
Admitting the problem is the first step.




As you guys have pointed out, Smith (and Kubiak) have done a good job (not great) with the hand they've been dealt regarding free agents. And the elephant in the room is that the Texans are not yet an attractive landing spot for free agents. Which is why a lot of fans will end up disappointed this offseason. Peppers won't be wearing Steel Blue next season, but Bertrand Berry might be. Kubiak and Smith will have make that reality work. Oakland and Washington have been VERY attractive landing spots for "big name" FA's. I don't really want to emulate their performances the last several years, do you? I like the approach of getting quality depth from FA and BUILDING our team thru the draft. We are a team on the rise and we need some D help. IMO, FA's will recognize this and WANT to come here. I hope it's not a "break the bank" type of FA. They don't seem to work out all that well, but Peppers, Suggs or Asmo-something or other wouldn't hurt my feelings at all. After what the Cards did this year, win or lose, players will be wanting to come to a team like that, where they can be a big fish in a pretty decent sized pond. Most of all, I hope that whomever we sign this offseason brings a level of maturity and respect for our current stars and doesn't try to be a "look at me" type player. Team chemistry is hard to overstate.

badboy
01-21-2009, 11:12 AM
Oakland and Washington have been VERY attractive landing spots for "big name" FA's. I don't really want to emulate their performances the last several years, do you? I like the approach of getting quality depth from FA and BUILDING our team thru the draft. We are a team on the rise and we need some D help. IMO, FA's will recognize this and WANT to come here. I hope it's not a "break the bank" type of FA. They don't seem to work out all that well, but Peppers, Suggs or Asmo-something or other wouldn't hurt my feelings at all. After what the Cards did this year, win or lose, players will be wanting to come to a team like that, where they can be a big fish in a pretty decent sized pond. Most of all, I hope that whomever we sign this offseason brings a level of maturity and respect for our current stars and doesn't try to be a "look at me" type player. Team chemistry is hard to overstate.The problem with signing a player such as Nmandi Asomugha that will probably be franchised, is giving up two first round picks if Oakland does not match the Texans offer. That means our #15 this year and 2010 first round which hopefully would be even lower. I think this CB is worth that, but our needs are much greater than a shut down type corner even if Aso would relieve the need to get a FS. That deal would overwhelming make the entire defense better. Since the contract for this FA must be offered before the draft, you could not for example trade down with Philadelphia for their two low 1st rounds and then give the higher Atlanta pick to Oakland + 2010 first. If that was possible, I would do this,

Our #15 and our 4th for Philly's two #1. Then highest #! from Philly and our 2010 for Asomugha. We use the other #1 from Philly for SHonn Green. I know he should be there in 2nd but why take a chance when he gives you speed and power? Our 2nd would go for Ron Brace NT and 3rd for FS Delmas or Rashad Johnson. This would be sweet but just a dream. I think I will just come up with a scenario anyway and what we could get with our remaining picks.

TexansFanatic
01-21-2009, 11:16 AM
The problem with signing a player such as Nmandi Asomugha that will probably be franchised, is giving up two first round picks if Oakland does not match the Texans offer.

He is currently an unrestricted free agent. He may yet be franchised by Oakland, but I don't think anyone is suggesting we should try to sign a player with a franchise tag on him.

BigBull17
01-21-2009, 11:17 AM
The problem with signing a player such as Nmandi Asomugha that will probably be franchised, is giving up two first round picks if Oakland does not match the Texans offer. That means our #15 this year and 2010 first round which hopefully would be even lower. I think this CB is worth that, but our needs are much greater than a shut down type corner even if Aso would relieve the need to get a FS. That deal would overwhelming make the entire defense better. Since the contract for this FA must be offered before the draft, you could not for example trade down with Philadelphia for their two low 1st rounds and then give the higher Atlanta pick to Oakland + 2010 first. If that was possible, I would do this,

Our #15 and our 4th for Philly's two #1. Then highest #! from Philly and our 2010 for Asomugha. We use the other #1 from Philly for SHonn Green. I know he should be there in 2nd but why take a chance when he gives you speed and power? Our 2nd would go for Ron Brace NT and 3rd for FS Delmas or Rashad Johnson. This would be sweet but just a dream. I think I will just come up with a scenario anyway and what we could get with our remaining picks.

I would be ok with everything except a RB in the 1st. We have our guy, we just need a chaange of pace. Why get that in the 1st?