The offseason in the NFL is already a long process, but the constant coverage of everything that happens in free agency makes it even longer.
The scouting combine was put on television to make people long for the NFL Draft – that’s not until April. Then we have the first week of free agency, which lasts until OTAs begin… in May.
But just a couple of days into free agency (which technically began at 3 p.m. on Wednesday), Texans fans are already throwing their heads into their hands as other teams sign big names while Houston is playing catch-up.
The big blow happened when the news broke that safety Tyrann Mathieu would sign with Kansas City. Head coach Bill O’Brien wanted Mathieu back, and so did the fans. But the Texans offered him only $9 million a year, and the Chiefs offered him almost $14 million a year. Easy choice for him, tough luck for Houston.
But then the Texans lost longtime cornerback Kareem Jackson to Denver, and Jackson said in his goodbye interview that Houston acted like it didn’t want him back. That is debatable, but still a shot in the gut for Texans fans hoping to keep key players while adding new ones.
Houston is planning to sign replacements for Mathieu and Jackson, as the Texans locked up former Jacksonville safety Tashaun Gipson (three years, $22 million) and have a deal in place with cornerback Bradley Roby, who comes from Denver for a one-year, $10 million deal.
But go on Twitter and you see Texans fans already venting about the lack of a big name player or addressing the offensive line, the weak part of the team.
Y’all, it’s still March. Calm down.
There’s a lot of other things to happen and other moves that have to be made before placing judgment on the Texans’ offseason when it has just begun.
I get that fans want their team to dominate the headlines with a big signing or addressing an important need. I thought bringing Le’Veon Bell to Houston would provide the offense with three unstoppable weapons with Deshaun Watson and Deandre Hopkins. But Bell wanted major cash, and the Texans weren’t going to get into a bidding war while also trying to lock down defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to a long-term deal.
I’m not saying that fans should trust Texans general manager Brian Gaine to make all the right moves, but give him the time he deserves to make moves to better the team. Everyone should wait at least until after the draft to see what new players will be added, and if they can make a significant contribution in the upcoming season.
All I’m saying is that there is plenty of time for dread for Texans fans. Maybe when Jacksonville’s Nick Foles throws for four touchdowns against the Texans in the regular season. But not right now.
Chad Washington is a news/sports reporter for the Herald. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter, @ChadDWashington.