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-   -   Texans Developing Solid Front Office Reputation (http://www.texanstalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1414)

Vinny 07-24-2004 02:24 PM

Texans Developing Solid Front Office Reputation

Upon hearing his agent and his team had hammered out a deal, cornerback Dunta Robinson was excited -- and ready to officially commence life as a pro. "Now it's time to go to work," the Texans' first-round pick said Friday.

But while Robinson and his fellow players report for training camp Thursday, there has been plenty of work going on behind the scenes in the south end zone of Reliant Stadium. And that's why, for the third consecutive year, the Texans won't have to worry about a first-round holdout.

Think about it for a moment. David Carr. Andre Johnson. Jason Babin, and now Robinson. All were first-round picks and all signed in plenty of time for camp. In the case of Carr and Babin, they were the first first-round picks in the entire NFL to put ink to paper. And that's not by accident. Although the Texans are the league’s youngest entry, they have already developed a solid reputation amongst players and agents. “You want the reputation that you’re fair,” general manager Charley Casserly said. “I think we had that reputation in Washington and we’ve made a conscious effort to say ‘Hey, we’re operating like that here in Houston, too.’”

Casserly spent 23 years with the Redskins, the last 10 as general manager, and helped mold the salary cap system that’s in place back in 1993. Few people around the league are as tuned in to the negotiation process as Casserly. He has plenty of help in place in director of negotiations Dan Ferens, as well as Barry Asimos and Rob Kisiel, two guys from other departments who have jumped into the contract process this year.

Carr was the top overall pick in 2002. The Texans targeted Carr well before the draft so they were able to hammer out a deal by draft day. “When you have the first pick, you can start negotiating at any point,” Casserly said. “And Carr had the same agent as Michael Vick, who was the first pick the year before – and also a quarterback. So it was very easy to start off.”

Johnson was the third overall pick, behind Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer and Detroit wide receiver Charlie Rogers. One of the reasons the Texans were drawn to Johnson was his reputation at Miami as a gym rat. Football was his primary priority and it became even more evident as negotiations began. “Andre made it a point that he wanted to be in camp on time,” Casserly said. “So his representatives were very proactive from the start.” Johnson signed three days before the Texans kicked off training camp.

Babin, the 27th overall pick, signed June 26. Robinson, the 10th overall selection, is the highest draft pick to sign thus far. Tampa Bay wide receiver Michael Clayon (15th ) and New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork (21st) signed between Babin and Robinson. “Both agents made it a priority,” Casserly said. “And with two first-round picks, we did more negotiating early than we ever had before.”

Casserly is quick to point out that it takes two to tango. The Texans have stepped up to the plate come contract time, but so have the various agents for these players. “We’re very aggressive,” he said. “Our objective is to get the player in on time. But the other side is that, in each of these cases, they wanted to get the deal done. It takes two sides to make any deal.”

Casserly saw his share of holdouts in Washington and, in most cases, it ends up hurting the player and the team. Every rep for a rookie in training camp is crucial, no matter how high he might have been selected on draft day. “I think of all the holdouts in my career, not one of them got a better offer after camp started,” Casserly said. “They all ended up with basically the same deal that was on the table.”

But Casserly hasn’t had to fret about such absences in Houston. Robinson and Babin are both in the fold well before camp, sustaining the Texans’ modest streak for first-round picks. And it’s a good thing, too – just like Carr and Johnson, Robinson and Babin are already penciled in as starters. Perhaps the players and agents know what the Texans’ brass knows. Every rep counts.

edo783 07-24-2004 05:39 PM

We have one of, if not the best front offices in the league. That's all thanks to Bob McNair. It all starts with him and the quality guy that he is.

Hottoddie 07-24-2004 08:46 PM

Any word on the progress of our last 3 unsigned picks (Earl, Duff, & Anderson)? Will they be in camp on time as well?

BornOrange 07-24-2004 09:22 PM

It is pretty safe to assume they will be in camp on time. The last week of before camp is usually a time when there are tons of signings, with very few rookies actually missing any time. It is really rare for second day draftees (4th-7th rounds) to come in late for camp.

Vinny 07-24-2004 11:30 PM

I think I read where we were very close to signing Anderson.

keyfro 07-25-2004 12:22 AM

those players are all later round guys...not too hard to sign...all that matters in their contract is years...generally around 3 for them

pittbull 07-26-2004 08:08 AM

good to see
It's good to see that our front office expresses an interest in not only getting guys to camp on time, let's face it, for the teams selfish reasons, but also, in creating a good feeling for the player. The player feels as though he is being compensated, in a timely manner, and is able to do there job more effetively. Only if all of our employers did the same thing, huh?

TexansFanatic 07-26-2004 11:39 AM

The fact that we habitually have our players in camp on time is just another glaring contrast between this team and the piece of trash organization that was the Houston Oilers. Thank you, Bob McNair!

Ibar_Harry 07-26-2004 12:07 PM

While I believe the front office has done well, I have a different take on this matter. If you listen to the players who are signing, I'm more impressed by their attitudes. The Texans seem to find people with very impressive attitudes and people who seem to be quite intelligent. They want to be treated fairly, but they also feel being on the field is important. They seem not to be in it just for the money. I'm impressed with the comments by DR concerning Glenn and Coleman. It certainly appears that the Texans are a very close knit organization. I hope we continue to see that attitude from top to botton. I would hope the remaining draftees sign rapidly and realize they have more to gain by being there than not. I think the Texans have signed those they need to and it would be a mistake to try to hold out. We will simply move on. In fact if Earl doesn't sign I would think that would make Lord happy.

Vinny 07-26-2004 12:46 PM

Ibar, why do you think that we won't sign all of our rookies? That would be a RARE NFL event for a non-first round pick. I can't remember a team not signing their all of their rookies. Why is it that you keep expressing that?

Ibar_Harry 07-27-2004 12:03 PM

Not too many days left before the start of camp and no sign of the remaining three. I'm more concerned about the two ND gentlemen. The Texans have said they had a higher rating on Earl than where he went in the draft. I wonder if he wants more than they are willing to give given his injury. We shall see what happens. Does anyone know who the agents are?

J-Man 07-27-2004 12:11 PM


I suspect that across the league we will see a lot of signings of the guys who went in later rounds. The plain fact is that if your picked up in the 3-7th round you don't have a lot of juice to burn in a training camp hold out or squabbling over a contract. I'm not saying guys shouldn't negotiate to get the best deal...just that training camp is normally the mark on the wall to get your deal done, because let's face it you can get cut at anytime and if you're developing a rep as being unreasonable at the deal table they may cut their losses on an unproven commodity.

Vinny 07-27-2004 01:37 PM

The rookies either sign with us or they don't play in the NFL this year. They will sign. It's their only shot at the game because we won't just release their rights if they don't sign. Second day picks ALWAYS sign. You are worried about nothing.

Mistril48 07-27-2004 02:37 PM

At this point, if someone doesn't sign I would be suspcious of their agent, not the Texans. I think they've already developed a reputation for reasonableness in negotiations. I will be very surprised if any of our draft picks aren't signed by this weekend.

Ibar_Harry 07-27-2004 10:17 PM

Only Earl remains unsigned
From the Houston Board

HOUSTON - The Houston Texans have signed sixth round draft choice (200th overall) LB Charlie Anderson, it was announced today. Anderson is the seventh of nine 2004 draft selections to sign with the Texans. The Texans two unsigned draft picks are S Glenn Earl and CB Vontez Duff.

The Texans also signed rookie free agent TE John Frieser and released RB Derrick Knight.

Ibar_Harry 07-28-2004 01:39 AM

Only Earl remains unsignedd
More info on the remaining signings and some others This sheds some more light on some players and what they signed for. Looks like Earl is expected to sign soon, but may be placed on the PUP list.

Ibar_Harry 07-28-2004 01:46 AM

They were very high on Earl. Does this now mean that Lord has a shot at making the club roster. Is Earl behind schedule?

Vinny 07-28-2004 02:46 AM

Earl has been injured and in rehab since we drafted him. They stated right off the bat that he would have a roadmap similar to Hollings return from his knee surgery. Don't expect him early in the year, and I would not expect much impact/production until 2005 for him really.

aj. 07-28-2004 06:55 AM

Symons is also PUP'd as expected. I'm more interested in Ramon Walker. I can't imagine he's anywhere close to ready for camp and at one time I wrote about him being a likely PUP candidate since he was injured later than Earl and had a similar injury. There's a lack of experienced healthy depth behind Eric Brown at the moment, and I don't think McCree is a good long term solution there if Brown were to go down.. It may be late '05 before we realize what we have in Earl.

Vinny 07-28-2004 09:41 AM

Looks like everyone will be in on time. One left and we start this weekend.

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