I was browsing overthecap.com trying to figure out what the Texans cap situation might be in the coming few years given that they have to sign JJ Watt (2015), Cushing (2014), and KJax (2014) among others. Feel free to add to the list of who you think is important to resign in the coming years, but here are a couple of things that jumped out at me.
1. Matt Schaub's cap # in 2015 is $17MM. If they cut him after 2014 season, they save $10MM in cap space. He will turn 34 in 2015.
2. Andre Johnson's cap # in 2015 is $14.6MM. By cutting Dre they can save $10.4MM in cap space. He will also turn 34 in 2015.
Those two are unquestionably two of the major parts of who the Texans are today. We can debate our level of confidence in Matt, as we have and I'm sure we will continue to do on this message board, but I don't think anyone questions how important AJ is to this team at this moment. In two years they will both be at the age where the inevitable decline in their skills should start or already be in progress and evident.
2015 is the year that JJ Watt becomes a free agent and will most likely require a ridiculous amount of money to resign.
Do the Texans cut or trade Matt and AJ after the 2014 season?
Do they extend them to push some of the money into the future years when they're even older (like the Patriots did with Brady)?
Do they ask them to take a pay cut?
Or do they exercise their 5th year rookie option on JJ and delay the decision on paying him until 2016?
Will that piss him off and make him less likely to sign a team friendly deal?
Links (you can navigate from there to the right year and other players):