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Old 05-26-2013   #1
paycheck71
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Default Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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):
http://www.overthecap.com/teamcap.ph...xans&Year=2013
http://www.overthecap.com/cap.php?Na...WR&Team=Texans
http://www.overthecap.com/cap.php?Na...QB&Team=Texans
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Old 05-26-2013   #2
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Default

I think most of those questions will be answered this year. I don't see a scenario where Schaub is making that much. We very likely will not have another Andre Johnson but if one of these WRs steps up, *cough*Hopkins*cough*, then it'll make the AJ scenario much easier to process.
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Old 05-26-2013   #3
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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Originally Posted by PapaL View Post
I think most of those questions will be answered this year. I don't see a scenario where Schaub is making that much. We very likely will not have another Andre Johnson but if one of these WRs steps up, *cough*Hopkins*cough*, then it'll make the AJ scenario much easier to process.
For some reason, rational or not, I feel less worried about the WR position in two years than I do about the QB. I don't think Schaub will be worth the $17MM cap number then, so there needs to be a contingency plan. Obviously we'll see how things shake out this year, and the year after, but if none of the QB's on the roster now show any sign of being ready to take over the starting job soon, I hope the Texans spend an early round pick on a QB next year. IMO it should be the top priority.
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Old 05-26-2013   #4
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

I like this thread. This is what I've been saying all along: this team has to win NOW.

RIGHT NOW.

We have about two years before JJ's contract, the Schaub situation, Andre's possible retirement and Cushing contract all hit this team at the same time.


And, let me say this about JJ: He will never, ever, ever, ever, ever play for another team. EVER. If he continues to play at the same level, McNair will open the vault and make him the highest paid player this league has ever seen.

In order to do that, though, we are eventually going to have to clean house.

That's why we have to win RIGHT NOW.
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Old 05-26-2013   #5
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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Originally Posted by paycheck71 View Post
but if none of the QB's on the roster now show any sign of being ready to take over the starting job soon, I hope the Texans spend an early round pick on a QB next year. IMO it should be the top priority.
I agree with this. My understanding the 2014 draft is suppossed to have more QB talent then the last draft. Maybe this all works out or we use TJ or Case as a stop gap QB in a few years, until we are able to grab the guy we want. Also remember that Redskins are sitting on a very solid backup QB that will be coming up to the end of his rookie contract around 2015.
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Old 05-26-2013   #6
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

After what I saw from Schaub last half of the year in 2012, I'm ok with the Texans cutting him this year.
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Old 05-26-2013   #7
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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Originally Posted by jaayteetx View Post
After what I saw from Schaub last half of the year in 2012, I'm ok with the Texans cutting him this year.
I'm guessing you're not serious about this, but just in case you are, this is impossible for at least a couple of reasons:

1. He's still the best QB on the roster.
2. It's financially prohibitive. If they cut him now, they'll carry $21MM+ of dead money this year, which will increase his cap hit for this year by $10.5MM. So, you need to find some other guys to cut, too, to free up that 10.5 mil.
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Old 05-26-2013   #8
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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Originally Posted by houstonspartan View Post
I like this thread. This is what I've been saying all along: this team has to win NOW.

RIGHT NOW.

We have about two years before JJ's contract, the Schaub situation, Andre's possible retirement and Cushing contract all hit this team at the same time.


And, let me say this about JJ: He will never, ever, ever, ever, ever play for another team. EVER. If he continues to play at the same level, McNair will open the vault and make him the highest paid player this league has ever seen.

In order to do that, though, we are eventually going to have to clean house.

That's why we have to win RIGHT NOW.

I don't know if I agree with them having to win "right now".

I believe they will do what it takes to keep the core of the defense * Cushing , Watt and KJax * together in the coming years.

The offense only AJ and Schaub are .... elderly and AJ could be productive even if he does decline.

Schaub .... maybe he gets healthy and takes the team to the promised land but if not , I think they could replace him and still be an elite team on both sides of the ball beyond this two year window.

It all boils down to what talent Rick Smith can plug in at QB if Schaub needs to retire / move on.
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Old 05-26-2013   #9
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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Originally Posted by jaayteetx View Post
After what I saw from Schaub last half of the year in 2012, I'm ok with the Texans cutting him this year.
If not for Russel Wilson, RG3, & Collin Kaepernick going off, I wonder if so many people would be down on Schaub.

Yes, he played poorly at the end of the season. But he's coming off a goofy surgery, we knew he wasn't going to be the same guy. & of the 7 years he's been the Texans QB, he's done a pretty good job.

Not a great job. There's been a few critics of Schaub's from day one, with cause & that few has steadily grown into a cadre of sorts. But pretty good.


But even in that two month period, there were some well thrown balls that just weren't caught. We had colossal failures in both the run game & the defense.

I understand wanting to ramp up the effort to find Schaub's replacement, but to outright cut him right now with what we've got behind him just doesn't make sense. Even with the promise of "franchise" QBs in the upcoming draft, just doesn't make sense.
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Old 05-26-2013   #10
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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I don't know if I agree with them having to win "right now".

I believe they will do what it takes to keep the core of the defense * Cushing , Watt and KJax * together in the coming years.

The offense only AJ and Schaub are .... elderly and AJ could be productive even if he does decline.

Schaub .... maybe he gets healthy and takes the team to the promised land but if not , I think they could replace him and still be an elite team on both sides of the ball beyond this two year window.

It all boils down to what talent Rick Smith can plug in at QB if Schaub needs to retire / move on.
Let me clarify. By "right now," I mean within the next two years. Our window to win a Super Bowl is two years. After that - the year 2015 - the team will have to be broken up in order to keep key players.

A lot of our contracts are backloaded; eventually, the bill will come due.

We. Have. To. Win. NOW.
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Old 05-27-2013   #11
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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Originally Posted by houstonspartan View Post
I like this thread. This is what I've been saying all along: this team has to win NOW.

RIGHT NOW.

That's why we have to win RIGHT NOW.
I thought that was the point of this long arduous road of building through the draft, that we'd never have to be in a "win now or else" situation. Hell, if we needed to win now, we could have won years ago by signing top tier FAs!
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Old 05-27-2013   #12
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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I thought that was the point of this long arduous road of building through the draft, that we'd never have to be in a "win now or else" situation. Hell, if we needed to win now, we could have won years ago by signing top tier FAs!
This is what happens when your team drafts too well. The Texans have done a good job of building through the draft but now have to make some tough decisions on who to keep and who let go.

I'm not at all against letting Schaub go after next season but I really hope AJ gets a better fate than being a salary cap casualty. He's been the most important part of this team for 10 years. I hope he retires a Texan.
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Old 05-27-2013   #13
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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Let me clarify. By "right now," I mean within the next two years. Our window to win a Super Bowl is two years. After that - the year 2015 - the team will have to be broken up in order to keep key players.

A lot of our contracts are backloaded; eventually, the bill will come due.

We. Have. To. Win. NOW.
The one thing you have to consider about those backloaded contracts is that much of the money due .... isn't due. Its non-guaranteed money those players will never see , especially in the case of AJ and Schaub.

They should be able to keep those critical players on both sides of the ball beyond the tenures of #8 & 80 ....

Watt , Cushing and KJax are probably the most important of those who expire soon.
Probably the biggest question mark other than AJ and Schaub is how long Foster can remain productive ....


I do agree that as currently constructed they have a ~two year window ... but they are built for the long haul as well - pending they can find a suitable replacement under center. (I wont go into replacing #80 , you don't replace those type of players , you simply move on and .... hope the void can be filled).

This team is fairly young outside of those two players .... I think they can contend long term .... just find a QB (not that its that easy).
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Old 05-27-2013   #14
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

I gotta give Schaub some credit, though. It takes a pretty decent QB to play here so much and not become a negative acronym or a synonym for a flying apparatus.

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Old 05-27-2013   #15
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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I gotta give Schaub some credit, though. It takes a pretty decent QB to play here so much and not become a negative acronym or a synonym for a flying apparatus.
Yeah , he's been just good enough to not get stuck with HWWNBM or Rosencopter .... and just bad enough (or hurt enough) to not take the next step.

I sure would like to have the 2009 Schaub with this defense and current cast on offense. 09 and 10 were easily his best seasons .... statistically & health wise.
I really have to wonder if he'll ever be 100% again after that foot injury. I hope he comes in this season and makes me look like an ass for questioning him .... aw hell , what am I talking about , Im an ass most of the time anyway.
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Old 05-27-2013   #16
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

All for it EXCEPT the cutting AJ part, sure the guy is getting older and his production will decline a bit BUT with all he has done for this team and how he has been faithful to this city by putting the team first i do not want to see AJ cut EVER. I believe he should leave the team and city when he is ready to hang up the pads. I dont want to be one of those teams. Even at 34 he can still be a threat maybe not as a #1. Just would leave a bad taste in my mouth if we did that. Not to mention it wouldnt be like when they held onto players like Carr, T Johnson, Okoye to long. This guy has given his all for this city and team. Let him decide when its time.
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Old 05-27-2013   #17
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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Yeah , he's been just good enough to not get stuck with HWWNBM or Rosencopter .... and just bad enough (or hurt enough) to not take the next step.

I sure would like to have the 2009 Schaub with this defense and current cast on offense. 09 and 10 were easily his best seasons .... statistically & health wise.
I really have to wonder if he'll ever be 100% again after that foot injury. I hope he comes in this season and makes me look like an ass for questioning him .... aw hell , what am I talking about , Im an ass most of the time anyway.
Yet a well spoken and informed one though.
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Old 05-27-2013   #18
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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All for it EXCEPT the cutting AJ part, sure the guy is getting older and his production will decline a bit BUT with all he has done for this team and how he has been faithful to this city by putting the team first i do not want to see AJ cut EVER. I believe he should leave the team and city when he is ready to hang up the pads. I dont want to be one of those teams. Even at 34 he can still be a threat maybe not as a #1. Just would leave a bad taste in my mouth if we did that. Not to mention it wouldnt be like when they held onto players like Carr, T Johnson, Okoye to long. This guy has given his all for this city and team. Let him decide when its time.
This has a lot to do with how well a talented player admits it when the talent starts eroding. Through it all, AJ has held out for one, single day, just to prove a point once. I don't think he'll be a problem.
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Old 05-27-2013   #19
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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If not for Russel Wilson, RG3, & Collin Kaepernick going off, I wonder if so many people would be down on Schaub.

Yes, he played poorly at the end of the season. But he's coming off a goofy surgery, we knew he wasn't going to be the same guy. & of the 7 years he's been the Texans QB, he's done a pretty good job.

Not a great job. There's been a few critics of Schaub's from day one, with cause & that few has steadily grown into a cadre of sorts. But pretty good.


But even in that two month period, there were some well thrown balls that just weren't caught. We had colossal failures in both the run game & the defense.

I understand wanting to ramp up the effort to find Schaub's replacement, but to outright cut him right now with what we've got behind him just doesn't make sense. Even with the promise of "franchise" QBs in the upcoming draft, just doesn't make sense.

Russell Wilson was a part of this class last year which had potential NFL talent at the QB position and the Texans didn't do anything except sign Keenum as an UDFA.

Andrew Luck, RG3, Tannehill, R.Wilson, Nick Foles played well as the season progressed, and even Kirk Cousins did well when RG3 was hurt.

We could have had some of that talent in later rounds. (Wilson 3rd round, and Cousins 4th round)
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Old 05-27-2013   #20
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Default Re: Looking a couple of years into the Texans future

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Originally Posted by DocBar View Post
This is what happens when your team drafts too well. The Texans have done a good job of building through the draft but now have to make some tough decisions on who to keep and who let go.

I'm not at all against letting Schaub go after next season but I really hope AJ gets a better fate than being a salary cap casualty. He's been the most important part of this team for 10 years. I hope he retires a Texan.
I'm afraid that, with the cap situation in the NFL the way it is, all teams, especially the contending ones, are faced with with making "tough decisions." The teams that will contend year in and year out will be the ones that consistently draft well, manage their cap by making "tough decisions," and don't go after high priced or big name FA's, unless they are willing to come at a lower price for the chance to win a title. So far the Texans seem to be following this pattern, at least for the past few years. I know there has been much debate on this MB about Rick Smith and his drafts, but since 2009 he has, to me anyway, consistently drafted well. And that is the key, I think, to sustaining a good team and having a chance to win titles.

As for AJ, I hope he retires a Texan too, and I hope he wins at least 1 SB with them. But, it's rare when something like that happens. Earl never won a SB and didn't get to retire an Oiler. Akeem did win 2 titles with the Rockets but even he didn't get to retire as one. Bagwell and Biggio spent their whole careers with the Stros but never won a WS. A lot has to go right for it to happen. I hope it does for AJ.
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