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LORK 88
07-17-2009, 04:46 PM
1) Kevin Walter, WR (2006)
In 2006, Houston signed Kevin Walter to a contract of 4 years, $6.4 million dollars. At the time, it was actually an offer sheet because he was a restricted free agent with Cincinnati. As expected, the Bengals didnít match and received our 7th round pick in return. Little did we know that this meager signing would end up as one of the best moves in franchise history. In fact, the move seemed a bit questionable at the time, especially when coach Kubiak compared him to the great Ed McCaffrey. While he wasnít an immediate impact that season, Kevin Walter went on to collect 125 receptions for 1,699 yards and 12 TDs as he solidified himself as a reliable target for Schaub and rid us of a need for a #2 WR after many failures (Jabar Gaffney, Eric Moulds, Corey Bradford). Itís a bit ironic that amidst all the monster contracts that players get in FA that Houstonís best FA signing was a RFA player who was riding the bench and got a contract averaging around $1.6 million a season but thatís exactly what makes it so great.


2) Kris Brown, K (2002)
Oh yes, Kris Brown was signed as a RFA from the Pittsburgh Steelers after only spending 3 years with the Steelers. We tend to forget where he came from and how he got here as we do with most kickers because heís been such a mainstay with the team. Itís challenging to find a solid kicker that stays with a team for most of their career, and itís even more amazing that we got him in FA without having to run the risk that so many teams take in the draft. He stepped right in and has been the kicker without question for the past 7 seasons. Admittedly Brown has had his ups and downs during his tenure with the Texans, but heís been a solid kicker overall and has been clutch the past two seasons like the 57 yard game winner and the field goal to give Houston its first ever win over the Colts. Kickers rarely get respect, but Brown has earned his spot as one of our top FA signings.


3) Vonta Leach, FB (2006)
Leach was supposed to be nothing more than a temporary midseason pickup to fill the roster while touted free agent pickup Jameel Cook recovered from an injury. Although he had spent little time at the position (he played LB in college), his hard-nose style of football fit well at the position, but he showed enough versatility to be able to catch passes out of the backfield. It was a rare find with some luck, but Leach was exactly what Houston wanted. Subsequently, Leach stole a good amount of playing time from Cook towards the end of the year and recorded a few starts for the team. He ended up getting re-signed in 2007 to a 4 year, $8 million dollar contract that allowed us to release Cook before the start of the 2008 season. Since then, heís been a beneficial asset to Houstonís running game, paving the way for the likes of Steve Slaton and even was named a Pro Bowl alternate last season.


4) Steve McKinney, C (2002)
We may remember the Steve McKinney at the end of his career most vividly, but when he was signed he was the only legitimate starter on the offensive line we had and easily the best. What makes the signing unique is that he was signed during the 2001 offseason and was Houstonís first ever UFA signing. During his first years in Houston, McKinney was the league of the linemen and one of the few bright spots. While the rest of the O Line helped David Carr become one of the most sacked QBs, McKinney gave up less that 10 sacks in three years combined and was penalized only 8 times in those three years. However, McKinney did slowly start to decline from 2005 on and an ACL tear in 2007 spelled the end of his time in Houston. For what itís worth, McKinney did everything he was asked and more during his time in Houston, and was one of the key players on offense early on. Itís scary to think what would of happened to Carr had McKinney not been there from the beginning.


5) Kailee Wong, LB (2002)
During the first few years in Houston, it was safe to say its defense was more dominant than itís offense (quite the opposite than as we know it today). Itís the same defense that beat the Pittsburgh Steelers when the offense netted less than 50 yards. There were stars like Aaron Glenn, Gary Walker, and Jamie Sharper but one of the other lesser known stars was Kailee Wong. Outside of Jeff Poseyís one season with Houston Wong was the mainstay at OLB in the 3-4 defense and one of the few players that generated a pass rush consistently. He wasnít a tackling machine like Foreman and Sharper were (not like they left many tackles to be made anyways), but Wong was able to come up with big plays in the form of sacks or plays in coverage. Wong did manage to stay with the Texans much longer than the Sharper and Foreman but not by much. Regardless, he was a top player for us on defense and helped give us a great group of linebackers for the first few years of the franchise.


Other Notables: Gary Walker, Eugene Wilson, Jeff Posey, Jay Foreman, Billy Miller

m5kwatts
07-17-2009, 05:58 PM
1 - Love KW. I particularly enjoy watching him play the Jags, he seems to have a personal vendetta against their secondary. I think if he has another year like last season its very possible he could be franchised. I would love to see him stick around long term though.

2 - My favorite thing about KB is his power and ability to hit long field goals. Thats a major asset to have for the end of games and one that often goes uncredited.

3 - Leach simply put is the toughest most physical Texan on the roster. For my own amusement I'd like to see him and Cushing meet head to head in a collision. I've always thought Leach could be a big time asset for us on goal line carries, he got one last year and scored, I'd like to see him used in a role like this as well as blocking.

4 - The list drops off here but I liked McKinney in his time here and his injury 2 seasons ago was unfortunate and it hurt momentum, as we started 2-0 and went downhill from there.

5 - Wong had plenty of tackles to make with the poor D-line in front of him and he took advantage of it. He was certainly a solid pro.

Carr Bombed
07-17-2009, 07:12 PM
While I really like the top 3 players and they are among my favorite Texans, the fact that the bottom 2 can make a "top 5 FA" list in our franchise's history and a kicker occupies our #2 spot......it really illustrates how absolutely horrid we've been with FA acquisitions.

Ckw
07-17-2009, 07:23 PM
While I really like the top 3 players and they are among my favorite Texans, the fact that the bottom 2 can make a "top 5 FA" list in our franchise's history and a kicker occupies our #2 spot......it really illustrates how absolutely horrid we've been with FA acquisitions.

Hopefully Antonio Smith will be added to this list.

I would honestly put Ephraim Salaam on the list as well. The guy was more than serviceable for a few years and was a great representative for the franchise. I was proud to have had him as a Texan.

LORK 88
07-17-2009, 07:30 PM
While I really like the top 3 players and they are among my favorite Texans, the fact that the bottom 2 can make a "top 5 FA" list in our franchise's history and a kicker occupies our #2 spot......it really illustrates how absolutely horrid we've been with FA acquisitions.
To be honest the list is biased towards the older players who were in the Capers/Casserly regime because we can see what they did as a whole versus the huge Smith/Kubiak signings who might not have made their mark. The few times we've tried to make big acquisitions we have failed or haven't been able to get a good read on how well the move was. 2005 was the year we screwed ourselves over in FA by giving away high contracts to players that didn't deserve it. There are also players like Jacques Reeves and Antonio Smith who are still unknown because they are the first big FA signings by Smith and Kubiak.

BTW I'll be doing the worst 5 FA signings as well. Inadvertently it will illustrate how well Casserly screwed us over with no cap room.

m5kwatts
07-17-2009, 07:52 PM
Antonio Smith will be on this list. I've watched a lot of this guy's film since we signed him and I likes what I sees.

CloakNNNdagger
07-17-2009, 09:18 PM
Wong, despite being treated like a ping pong ball maintained a commendable level of performance. He spent his first four seasons with the Vikings. He played on the outside in Minnesota's 4-3 during his first three seasons, then switched to the middle in 2001. Then in 2002, he moved back outside as a pass-rushing linebacker in Houston's 3-4 scheme. Then in 2005, to the inside. Then when Kubiak brought in the 4-3, he went to the outside.

V3rm0nt3r
07-17-2009, 09:39 PM
i'd throw Sage in there as well. not a lot of time on the team but played well for us when we needed him to (yes yes we all know what happened in Indy but still) or maybe someone like Mike Briesel. i know that some of you want him replaced but he's at worst great depth and for a UDFA what more could you ask for?

m5kwatts
07-17-2009, 10:05 PM
i'd throw Sage in there as well. not a lot of time on the team but played well for us when we needed him to (yes yes we all know what happened in Indy but still) or maybe someone like Mike Briesel. i know that some of you want him replaced but he's at worst great depth and for a UDFA what more could you ask for?

The people that want Brisiel replaced need to seriously rewatch some of the games from last season.

Insideop
07-18-2009, 05:04 PM
To be honest the list is biased towards the older players who were in the Capers/Casserly regime because we can see what they did as a whole versus the huge Smith/Kubiak signings who might not have made their mark. The few times we've tried to make big acquisitions we have failed or haven't been able to get a good read on how well the move was. 2005 was the year we screwed ourselves over in FA by giving away high contracts to players that didn't deserve it. There are also players like Jacques Reeves and Antonio Smith who are still unknown because they are the first big FA signings by Smith and Kubiak.

BTW I'll be doing the worst 5 FA signings as well. Inadvertently it will illustrate how well Casserly screwed us over with no cap room.

Unfortunately, the 5 worst FA list should be a lot easier to fill out. Plenty to choose from that's for sure! Todd Wade anyone?

BTW, good post as always Lork!