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What's Texans' Worst Offseason Move?

During a tumultuous offseason, the front office coughed up multiple fumbles

HOUSTON -- Mistakes are bound to happen each offseason when it comes to free agency. Draft picks are botched, contracts never meet expectations and players that are declining continue to earn top dollar. 

What was the Houston Texans biggest mistake? Unfortunately, there are multiple choices. 

Most obvious is the downfall of quarterback Deshaun Watson and the front office's handling of his problems. The 25-year-old demanded a trade from the organization in conjunction with the hirings of new general manager Nick Caserio and head coach David Culley. 

When looking back, the Texans only take part of the blame. Sure, Cal McNair and Jack Easterby said that Watson would be involved in the hiring process, but who's to say that if Watson got his wish he still would have wanted out?

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For now, Watson has bigger fish to fry. He still is facing 22 civil lawsuits of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault. The NFL is conducting its own investigation and has yet to comment on if the Texans' QB will be able to play at the all this year. 

Take out the Watson move, and even accept the J.J. Watt departure, and there is another blunder that could look foolish on both paper and production. The restructured contract of running back David Johnson doesn't provide any sense of comfort for the fan base after his lukewarm 2020. 

Neither do the additions of Mark Ingram II, Philip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead. 

Johnson, who was expected to make nearly $9 million in 2021, now will earn only $6 million. The problem is the fully-guaranteed cash. On his first deal, Houston would only owe Johnson $2.1 million should he be released. The new contract boosts that amount to $4.25 million if he doesn't make the final roster.

Johnson was Houston's most productive back last season, but that doesn't say much for the NFL's 31st-ranked rushing offense. He finished with two 100-plus rushing games on the year, but also missed four games due to illness and injury. 

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The 29-year-old averaged a serviceable 4.1 yards per play, but totaled only 691 rushing yards overall. Johnson also tallied eight touchdowns, including two catches. 

Of course, having a lead back is fine, but four is absurd. Houston added Ingram due to his locker room presence under Culley in Baltimore. The same could be said of Burkhead, who spent the past four years with Caserio in New England. 

Lindsay is still young and could be an asset as a change-of-pace runner early on in the season. He too could be the lead back following a pair of 1,000-yard seasons on the ground in Denver. If not for an injury, maybe he has three entering his fourth year. 

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Ingram, Burkhead and Lindsay all signed cheap one-year deals, but why did Caserio need four? One will never see the field outside of special teams. The other likely is a here as a locker room presence more than anything else.

The Texans could have cut ties with Johnson and only use $2.1 million to the cap. Adding thee cost-affordable running backs might not elevate the production on the ground, but it will save some money towards the overall cap space. 

Instead, Houston now is hopeful last season's end was just the start of Johnson's comeback. They also hope either Lindsay, Ingram or Burkhead can play well past their contract, making it look like a bargain deal in the long run. 

Of the four, Lindsay likely has the most upside. Outside of that, Houston might have been more wise in drafting a young runner in the later rounds to create competition at a position without a direction. 

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