Originally Posted by Dutchrudder
1. We offered Dunta a "fair" deal before the "Pay Me Rick" fiasco. I believe it was just over 7m a year for 3 years. He clearly was worth more to the Falcons, so that worked out for us. Let's not pretend the Texans didn't want to keep him around, or else we wouldn't have franchised him for so much money and made him an offer.
2. By all accounts the Texans were in the heat of negotiations with Aso's agent, and we had every intention of signing him if the money was right. I think Rick got tired of the back-and-forth with his agent and went with JJo instead. It didn't appear to me that JJo was our primary target at any point in that free agency. It was clearly the right decision to get him, but let's not pretend it was Rick's idea from the start. I think a bit of luck played a role in that.
3. Winston was overpaid here at 5.5m per year. No question about that. He went and signed a similar deal with KC, but with a small amount of guaranteed money. It didn't work out, or maybe the coaching change hurt him, or maybe Albert+Joeckel was the reasoning behind him getting cut, but after the year we had with our o-line, I'm not going to claim victory for Rick in that deal. Winston was floored when he learned he got cut, and was angry that he wasn't asked to renegotiate. It's amazing to me that anyone can claim Rick handled that situation properly, when he did the exact opposite with Walter and got him to agree to a paycut. The least he could have done was see if Winston was willing to go from 4.5m salary to 2. I mean c'mon man! He only had signing bonus guaranteed money left on his deal, so it's not like you avoid paying it regardless of the decision. I thought this was a mistake at the time, and I still think it was. His contract was not guaranteed, and I think he could have been traded for a mid-round pick if they had looked into it.
4. Trading Ryans was a tough call. He's a fan favorite and moving him actually increased his cap hit for 2012 by 1 million+. At the time, I thought it was a good idea if we were going to give up on him because he's not a 3-4 ILB, but in hindsight, he would have been nice to have while Cushing was out. In any case, you can't predict the future, so I think it was correct to move him, as tough as that was. Rick definitely gets some credit for that, and the trade netted us a 4th to get Brandon Brooks.
5. Barwin was a flash in the pan, and nobody signs guys like that to extensions when they are still on a rookie deal. It's a good call not to do it, but I can't think of any other instance where another team has extended a guy after one good season in the middle of a rookie deal. I'd give him some credit if I could think of any instance where this had happened before...
6. I don't think we had any intention of re-signing Brisiel. He never made much money and wanted more, so he was going to the highest bidder. We didn't have the money to re-sign him, so I guess that's good on Rick?
7. Jason Allen got 2 years 4.2 million, and this was well after free agency started. I honestly don't know why the Bengals gave him that much, but he wasn't going to be re-signed anyways. Good job Rick on not giving Jason Allen 4 million a year? I think my cat could have figured that one out...
8. No money to re-sign Mario, and no way he was gonna take a paycut. We spent his money on Foster and Myers instead. Whether that was the right call is debatable, but I'm good with it. Good job Rick!
9. Kjax got a real coach when they got Phillips and Vance Joseph. There's no question that was the catalyst that made Kjax go from zero to hero. I think I have to say mostly "good job McNair!" on this one. Without Phillips, Kjax wouldn't be nearly the #2 CB he is now. I also kind of wonder how much JJo has to do with it, from a developmental perspective.
10. Good for Rick not giving away our draft picks?
11. Dead money is all over the place on the net, I wouldn't put too much stock in it. I wouldn't be surprised if Winston was designated a June 1st cut and had 1m in dead money moved to 2013. Either Lienart or Jones may also have been June 1st cuts too.
I think you are leaving out some important things on Rick Smith's record. Without getting into draft picks which can cut both ways, here's a few I think are notable.
1. Owen Daniels. OD has been good for us his whole career. He was drafted in 2006 and has remained with us since. Rick tendered him once he became an RFA in the uncapped year, and that was a good move. He then signed him to a decent deal, but not too pricey for us. I think OD is actually a good contract to this day and has been ever since he was drafted. We never overpaid for him, even when he was asking for top 5 TE money. Good job on Rick.
2. Duane Brown. This guy has been a beast for us the last few years. I don't know what clicked in his head since about 2010, but he has really found his groove and is a top 10 LT for sure. His new deal is well designed, in that he signed it this past year and the team was able to include 2012 his signing bonus proration into 2012's cap. So that puts 2.5 million of his 12.5m signing bonus in 2012. The way the contract is designed, he will be under contract in 2017 and 18 for 9+ million, but will have no guaranteed money. Essentially, we have him locked in for the next 4 years for for 32.5 million, which is 8.125 average. That is an excellent contract.
3. Donnie Jones. Great fill-in punter after Hartman got hit with a suspension. Can't ask for more from a minimum guy.
1. Matt Schaub. This is debatable, but signing him to a long term deal in week 1 was a mistake. I think the numbers were fine for who he is, and what we expected of him, but the guy just came off a bad injury, and they signed him too early. His contract will likely be 3 years long, making it worth 40.15m for an average of 13.383m. That's too much if he continues to play like he did, which seems to be likely after talking with the Doc about it. He apparently can't plant on his foot due to the injury, and if that's the case, then he's going to continue to throw wobbly and inaccurate passes. Rick jumped the gun on this one, and should have waited until the playoffs at the very least. This will likely be the biggest mistake of his career.
2. Chris Myers. He's getting old, and isn't getting much better. We have had a hole at backup center for a long time that finally got addressed last draft when we got Ben Jones. That's good, but the situation kind of forced the team's hand to pay Myers top 5 center money. That's bad, and should have been addressed before. Caldwell was supposed to be that guy, but he has been injured more than Mario Williams since he got here. He's not reliable, and we should have addressed C before the last draft.
3. Andre Johnson's contract. He is getting paid a ridiculous amount of money, and all because Rick didn't put some of it upfront in the uncapped year. He's clearly a core player, a Texan for life, and yet there wasn't enough certainty to give him a 5-10m roster bonus that year? C'mon man!
4. 2010 - The Uncapped Year. The Texans did not take advantage of this year as they should have. They re-signed guys to huge contracts in AJ and Ryans, but didn't bother putting a large roster bonus or 2010 salary in the deal to curb their salary cap hits down the road. This was a huge mistake, and it put our team behind the rest of the league. Other teams were able to spend up to 140 million in cap space that year, and they got away with it. The Skins and Boys were forced to push some of that excessive money to their future caps to get them in line with the other teams spending. The Texans kept on spending like there was a cap, and missed out on paying AJ and Demeco upfront roster bonuses. Now we have a 2013 caphit of 14.6m for AJ, and we spent over 9m on Demeco last year when he was cut.
5. Jacoby Jones+Lawrence Vickers over Vonta Leach. With the money we spent on JJ and Vickers, we could have kept Leach instead. Vonta got a deal worth 3.66m a year, JJ got one from us worth 3.5 a year. I'd take the starting all-pro FB over the #3 WR any day. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but losing Leach was bad for us. We even went on to spend some money on Vickers, who wasn't that great. Bad move all around, Leach should have been designated a core player.
Anyways, that's most of what I can think of for now (Joe Marciano, team doctors and S&T coaches should be on the bad list too). Rick's record is simply not as good as you make it out to be.