It's not clear, because you stated that you thought the Texans overpaid for Walker. That pretty much implies that you felt:
a) the Texans should have signed another player at that price for the position.
b) the Texans should have looked at cheaper alternatives for that position.
c) the Texans should have kept Walker, they just did a lousy job of negotiating.
Again, I'm glad he's on the team, and again, IF he ends up not being able to give us say...three solid years, then it's obvious if the risk comes to bear that they should have considered a cheaper alternative. An elusive point here is that this is more a discussion on risk than anything else.
The risk is they gave 2/3 of our DL 21 million in signing bonus alone, with a six year prorata commitment. Eventually that kind of stuff will come back to bite you in the ***, especially when you're giving it to older players. Don't just look at Walker, look at the bigger picture. Payne's contract comes due at the end of this year. If he plays well this year and shows that he is fully recovered, it will probably take near Walker and Smith money to re-sign him and I seriously doubt they will be able to keep all three next year at that price. One or two high priced guys on the line along with a guy like Corey Sears I can understand. An entire starting unit all paid top dollar is Carolina '95 all over again and isn't a good idea imo. If you give me the choice of 2 players among a healthy Smith, Payne and Walker for long term deals and I take Payne and Smith. The only unknown that the Texans had to deal with that forced their hand was the uncertainty about Payne. Think about what other positions you want to sacrifice when you start paying one position top dollar across the board. That's part of what I'm trying to say. It's a little more than just whether Gary is a good player or not -- which he obviously is. Also, consider Corey Sears and Jerry DeLoach are both free agents after this year. Unfortunately the ecomomics of the game force you to make some tough decisions on popular and talented players -- that is if you want to be competitive over the long term as opposed to an all or nothing approach.