Contracts have been one of the most-discussed aspects of the NFL for several seasons now, especially when you consider the rising costs of players, both good and bad.
The Houston Texans are no different, especially in a time of rebuilding, as the club appears to be.
Finding "cheap labor'' somewhere on the roster is a way to be able to afford the pricy talent. Pro Football Focus' recent look at some of the best and worst veteran contracts for each NFL team demonstrates the Texans' continuing contract struggles.
PFF omits rookie contracts here and tells a "tale of two receivers." Praising the value of wide receiver Brandin Cooks and expressing the idea that fellow wideout Randall Cobb falls on the other end of the Texans' contract spectrum.
Pro Football Focus had this to say regarding the best and worst contracts on the team:
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"In 2020, Brandin Cooks became just the second wide receiver in NFL history with a 1,000-yard receiving season for four different teams, joining Brandon Marshall. He continues to produce no matter the circumstances, and while he has dealt with injuries here and there, it never keeps him down for too long.
This contract is the remaining money from his five-year, $81 million pact signed with the Los Angeles Rams. Now operating as the clear No. 1 option in Houston following the departure of Will Fuller V, Cooks is a great value no matter who will be throwing him the ball in 2021 and beyond. New Texans general manager Nick Caserio was in New England when the Patriots sent a first-round pick to New Orleans to acquire the wide receiver, and Cooks played his lone season in Foxborough before being subsequently traded to Los Angeles. Perhaps this time he sticks around a bit longer as they try to rebuild the franchise."
Worst: Wide receiver Randall Cobb — Three years, $27 million ($8.25 million in remaining guarantees)
"This deal made zero sense from a market perspective when it was signed, giving significant guarantees to a 30-year-old slot receiver who had failed to earn a 70.0 grade in any of his past five seasons. Cobb did in fact top that mark in 2020 over the 10 games he played in, but he had fewer than five receptions in seven of those outings and just isn’t going to make an on-field impact worthy of this dollar amount before the deal is done."
All of these judgments, of course, can change once the Texans hit the field, at which time all players will get the opportunity to demonstrate value, especially on a team desperately in need of potential stars.