Originally Posted by V3rm0nt3r
What's up guys? This is my first post in a while on this board so I figured I'd prove my continued support of the Texans with an absurdly extensive potential offseason scenario for you to consider. I hope you enjoy, and by no means do I expect you to read every word of this.
Alright, so here's what I did: I got bored of pretending to do the mountain of homework I have and decided to put into words what I would do if I had Rick Smith's job this spring. I then performed a completely biased analysis of the Texans' offseason needs (SPOILER: I haven't given up on Schaub) and factored in the talent of the free agent market with the players I think can contribute immediately in Kubes'/Wade's systems and may be available when Houston picks through the first three rounds of April's draft.
For pre-draft offseason moves, I'd release Antonio to free up cap space to help retain Quin (top priority) and Barwin (1a). I'd do this with the hopes that committing a late round draft pick to a DE to compete with Jamison and Crick and adding a physically dominating replacement for Cody early in the draft will make up for his absence inside. If more money needs to be freed up, Wade Smith is the next on my chopping block but the prospect of replacing more continuity with youth on that line is a daunting prospect after losing Briesel/Winston last year.
This draft is pretty thin for quality 3-4 inside backers after the first 20 picks and we need to do something to upgrade that position's depth so that's where I'd commit any free agent dollars I had after my re-signings (Larry Grant is someone I'd definitely look into). Given all of this movement (or lack there of), here are some of the players I would target in the first three rounds of the coming draft.
It's good to see you haven't given up on Schuab like most of the people on this MB and in H-Town have, although his window for proving he is the QB that can take us to the SB is closing pretty fast.
As for releasing Antonio Smith, well, I think that's a bad idea. I think a better idea to free up cap space is to restructure his contract and let Barwin go in stead. Antonio is already under contract and he was the 2nd best D-Lineman we had. Barwin, on the other hand, didn't have a good year and may end up asking too much $$$. If they can get him to sign a one year deal, at a reasonable price of course, then that would be OK. But, we have to think of the long term picture here. Cushing will be a FA next year and Watt will be the year after that. The Texans must get them extended before they hit the market or they will probably lose both (Watt for sure). We just don't have the cap room to battle some other team for Watt and probably not Cushing either, provided he fully recovers from his injury. I agree that GQ is the top priority this year and needs to be resigned.
I also agree that ILB is thin this year and needs to be addressed. Just don't think we can afford to go the FA route, for reasons listed above, and that they need to pick up one in the draft. Of course everything hinges on the Barwin deal. Whatever happens there determines what they do in the draft. There are a small handful of ILB that could be taken in the mid rounds that could turn out to be decent. Riddick from North Carolina, Bostic from Florida, or Alonso from Oregon could be had in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. All of them would be serviceable. Texans may not go for Alonso though. He's been in trouble with the law before (2yrs ago).
Overall, good post.