Texans Free Agency: Three Band-Aid DBs To Sign?
Anthony R Wood
Secondary issues are nothing new to the Houston Texans. In recent years they've struck out on numerous free agency and draft acquisitions at both cornerback and safety in the form of Aaron Colvin, Tashaun Gipson, Xavier Crawford, Kevin Johnson, Jermaine Kelly and more.
These issues are as serious now as ever, and Houston needs to find some Band-Aids to get them through the rest of this season. Maybe the Band-Aids are buried deep on the roster. Or maybe they're out there on the street.
After their Week 6 loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Texans defense now ranks sixth in the NFL in highest-average-completion-percentage allowed, fourth in the most passing touchdowns allowed, and last in interceptions.
While expectations had been that cornerback Gareon Conley would be able to return off of IR this season and hopefully shore up this secondary, this is looking progressively less likely.
Interim head coach Romeo Crennel essentially ruled out an imminent return for Conley on Monday stating; "I don’t think that he’s where we need him to be right now," meaning they will need to look elsewhere for reinforcements.
READ MORE: Are Texans Trying To Trade J.J. Watt?
Our theory is that Houston cannot afford to trade away the little draft capital they have if they are to entice a top GM prospect for next season. Therefore, turning to down the depth chart, and then maybe to free agency - in the vernacular, "street free agency'' - to find some temporary Band-Aids for this porous secondary seems in order.
The depth chart is the first step. John Reid and Cornell Armstrong. Can they play? Let's find out. And then a supplementary step: Are there reclamation projects who can play? Our three ideas in the Band-Aid department:
Trumaine Johnson, CB
The 30-year old former third-round pick would be a solid addition to replace the likes of Phillip Gaines or Vernon Hargreaves. With 102 NFL starts to his name, he is coming off of a poor 2019 season during which he allowed a 74.1% completion percentage. Saying that, he was playing for the Jets which, as is blindingly obvious at this point, was already a sinking ship last season. Last season was, maybe, an outlier for a player who has had a solid and productive career so far and would be an upgrade on their current backups.
Morris Claiborne, CB
Another 30-year old former Jet, Claiborne spent last season with the Super Bowl-winning Chiefs, although he only played 202 snaps all year. His career has been plagued by injuries, but when healthy he is productive and could be the veteran cornerback presence that has been missing since Jonathan Joseph left after last season.
He was once a blue-chip draftee of the Dallas Cowboys; maybe there's still gas left in the tank.
Tramon Williams, DB
Where better to end his career than where it began? An undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech in 2006, Williams kicked off his NFL career in Houston but never made an appearance for the Texans. Although, they may need to apologize for lacking in tact when releasing him as a rookie ...
Now at the age of 37, with a Super Bowl ring and Pro Bowl appearance to his name, he would bring consistency to a secondary that desperately needs it. Despite his age, he still played 16 games in both of the last two seasons for Green Bay and has experience playing at both corner and safety.
If they can bring him in for a veteran's minimum, why not? Indeed, in terms of Band-Aids and "street free agency,'' why not look - deep into the depth chart and out onto the street?