The Texans are looking to improve on their 2015 division title win by strengthening the ranks and raising the bar with competitive camp competitions. Unfortunately for some veterans this means the front office will be looking to save a little cap space and bring in some undrafted free agents to challenge the backups.
Johnathan Joseph CB
The 11 year veteran is worth around 6 million in cap space coming into 2016. This is a reduced rate as Joseph re-structured his deal last year and I can’t imagine him being too keen to repeat that procedure again. Although his numbers are productive, first round picks Kareem Jackson (2010) and Kevin Johnson (2015) are primed to take up the starting roles if the Texans decide to cut ties with the veteran.
Jaelen Strong WR
It’s rare for a team to cut a 3rd round pick after one season, but Jaelen Strong could certainly fall into this unfortunate category of players. A disappointing 14 receptions all year; 6 of which came against the Jags in week 17 garbage time. This shows just how underwhelming his season has been. His best game came in week 5, where he grabbed himself 2 receptions for a pair of TDs and 53 yards. The odds of Jaelen making the roster got even slimmer when the Texans drafted 2 receivers. Bill O’brien also has veterans Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington coming back. It is not impossible for Jaelen to make the roster this year, but he has to demonstrate that he can be the receiver the front office thought he could be upon drafting him.
Charles James CB
Last year’s Hard Knocks super star, Charles James’ story through training camp really struck home with lots of viewers as they saw just how hard a player had to compete to even get a shot. Unfortunately for Mr James, he’s about to go through the whole process again and the odds are stacked against him. His heart is in the right place and he certainly showed the right mentality to be a team player, but the coaches can’t fix the fact that he is undersized for this league. His best hope of continuing his career in the NFL is for him to land on the Texans practice squad just as last season and step up to the big show later in the season when injuries take effect.