Originally Posted by thunderkyss
Again, it's perception. Jonathan Joseph was no more a top tier FA than Anthony Weaver or Antonio Smith. Both were considered the second best DE in their FA class. Wade Smith was probably the third best guard available at the time.
Jonathan Joseph was the second rated CB in his FA class, & had Ike Taylor not resigned with the Steelers, probably third.
Jonathan Joseph was not any more a proven commodity than Kevin Walter when we got him.
First of all, Anthony Weaver was no where near the top 3 DEs in the 2006 free agency class. ND Kalu was signed that year too, and even he was rated higher than Weaver. The Texans overpaid for Weaver for sure, but that doesn't make him the second best DE of that class. There were at least a half dozen other guys ahead of him, including Mathis, Kampman and Abraham.
Antonio Smith was a guy who got paid by a desperate team due to his performance during Arizona's Super Bowl run. He was not in the top 3 DEs of that class, which included Julius Peppers, Chris Canty and Terrell Suggs (who moved to OLB). He might have been 4-6 depending on the rankings you use, but even then he wasn't a hot commodity on the market. He's worked out well since that deal was signed, but let's not rewrite history on this.
Wade Smith in 2010 was a desperation move. We lost Chester Pitts to injury that year and had a huge hole at LG, so we overpaid Wade to keep him from going to Arizona. He was no where near the top 5 guards that year, which included guys like Logan Mankins, Harvey Dahl, Jahri Evans and Shaun Andrews. Wade Smith was/is a journeyman, and a middling prospect at guard.
JJo was certainly a top 5 CB of the free agency class of 2011. Aso was obviously the #1 guy, Cromartie and Grimes were probably the next two best, and then JJo would slot in at #4, with Champ Bailey close behind. At the time, that was pretty reasonable ranking, but you could argue JJo was a better prospect over Cromartie due to character concerns on Antonio. Brandon Carr, Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Carlos Rodgers would be the CBs behind those guys, and that filled out what was a great CB free agency class.
JJo was definitely the highest rated free agent acquisition that the Texans have made in their brief history, and it was the right choice. We nearly had Eric Weddle to go with him, but SD ponied up more money and kept him from us. Instead we signed D Manning for about 3m AAV less, and wound up with a great overhaul of the secondary.