Originally Posted by Wolf6151
Without turning this into a "Rick Smith" thread entirely your link doesn't prove much because it stated that the reason the Texans were in that position was primarily because of Watt being one of the best & being paid under a rookie contract. Which is exactly what I have eluded in other posts. The Texans have gotten good value from their players because quite a few of the starters played under rookie contracts. How can you not get good value out of that? Consider the list from last season Casey, Jones, & Newton on offense. Then you got Watt, Reed, Barwin, Cushing, Kareem, & Quin on defense. Then if you throw McCain & Mitchell in there due to being subs who play quite often as well as Martin, Jean, Graham, & Brooks on offense you realize almost half of the teams starters(9) played under rookie contracts last season as did many of the important subs. That pretty much explains how the Texans get good value from it's players IMO. Rookie contracts work wonders. Here is the 1st wave of expired rookie contracts w/ McCain, Casey, Quin, & Barwin & Smith has yet to re-sign any of them. 3 starters & our 3rd cb, I would say those are important pieces that seem to be on their way out as our GM let's them.
The Texans do not have a lot of room under the cap as another poster falsely believes. In fact, they have the lowest amount of all the AFC South teams much less compared to the NFL as a whole. I don't believe Smith has done a good job based on the fact that multiple key contributors & starters have played under rookie contracts, thus good value, & that seems to be the only way he retains them. Smith's best work in the draft & in Free agency were when his job was on the line & outside of that I haven't been impressed by much. I don't think he's underrated because he simply hasnt done much. As I said before, this offseason could help change that perception, but it seems that we are possibly going to lose some more starters this season due to salary cap issues. Losing key players year after year & replacing them w/ rookies, 1st time starters, or has been FA's is normally not associated w/ good GM work, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don't see it, but the offseason is still young.