Originally Posted by beerlover
The key to 20-17-10 is how well RS executes timing in locking up the 20%. There has to be some manipulation of the numbers for salary cap purposes alone. Its difficult for a layman like myself to watch the number one pick leave just when things turnaround, with minimal compensation but guess those are the breaks. Overall when looking at my list Rick Smith seems to have done a nice job retaining a core that should continue with these players as well.
Also since Andre, Foster, Daniels, Myers, Joseph & Manning are locked up for a while I would fudge my list a bit & not include them in my top 10. Instead I would focus on key, younger players who already have established themselves as core in future of this teams success.
#1. Brian Cushing - Must lock him up early.
#2. Duane Brown - Deserves top 5 LT money.
#3. Matt Schaub - His durability is a concern but his importance to this team is undeniable. I list him lower because of his age, hence future productive seasons ahead.
#4. Connor Barwin - With Mercilus it lessons his need to sign him to a big contract, something with in reason or possibly trade?
#5. Glover Quinn - This is where it really starts getting sentimental for me. My desire to see him remain a Texans probably out weighs his actual worth.
#6. JJ Watt - It's never too early to ensure a stud like him remains locked up as Texan long term.
#7. Brice McCain - Yes I include him as the nickle back. He has the best speed in secondary & is proving himself invaluable.
#8. Brooks Reed - Texans would like to remain deep & talented @ OLB.
#9. Shaun Cody - Much as I hate to admit it the guy fits Wade Phillips system & keeps players around him free to make some plays.
#10. Antonio Smith - Out of respect earned, & contributions to this organization through some lean times, he should receive some serious consideration for his leadership & work ethic.
The bolded, above, are players I am iffy about.
GLOVER QUINN and BRICE McCAIN
Our secondary has always been a mystery. Outside of the Dynamic Duo we obtained last off-season, the other guys are truly a patch-worked bunch of guys who are struggling to advance their worth to this team. I do think, however, that the two guys you listed ARE the best two secondary players outside of the Dynamic Duo of Joseph/Manning.
I just don't see it. I think there will always be a scrapper type, blue collar lunch pail type of guy (Jared Crick, for example) who can do what Cody does. For the time being, he's adequate. I just don't see the value in spending on this guy.
I agree with your value of Smith's role here. Have said the same thing many times myself. I just have to wonder, though, if a guy like Mercilus ends up putting his hand down in the dirt in Antonio Smith's position if Smith doesn't get a new deal here. I mean, Mercilus is BIG and has the motor. I think Wade definitely wants Mercilus as a LB...I just think he has a lot of the same attributes that Antonio brings to the defense. When it comes time for Smith and his agent to ask for a long-term deal, what happens??? I think Smith will argue that he's been THE presence on the DL for the Texans for a long time, and that he deserves to be paid Top DL money. I just think he will ask for a lot of dough. But I don't know that we should pull that trigger. Then again, outside of JJ Watt it's been a long dry spell at drafting DL.
That leaves me three players to potentially substitute into your list.
I will take these guys:
BEN TATE (subbed in for Shaun Cody)
Yes, Ben Tate. Because he's worth having if Foster is out for extended periods of time. After Foster, there's nobody on the distant horizon if we don't have Tate to fall back upon. For that reason, I give Shaun Cody's spot to Ben Tate.
I toyed with the idea of subbing someone for him, but couldn't find a name to use for it. So Glover stays. He owes me a steak and a beer for my kindness.
Once again, after looking up and down the roster--if we'e sticking to the script/intention of this topic--then I would have to say that Antonio Smith has been not only a model citizen here, he's been a high motor guy on the DL who really earned an affirmative nod in this discussion.
I'd leave McCain on the outskirts of the list, a fence-riding A or B depending on the 2012 season. Depends on what Harris can do...if Harris gets a shot, that is.