Either by trade or release, it seems inevitable that Andre Johnson will not be a member of the Texans sooner rather than later. DeAndre Hopkins emerged as a capable number one option last year, but the team will need to add pass catching talent if they want to improve on offense without their franchise leader in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
The team will likely pursue top free agent receivers such as Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin to line up across from Hopkins in 2015, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). He believes that Torrey Smith could be an option as well.
Here are some other notes surrounding the Texans’ free agency plans:
- One huge name the Texans could have a shot at bringing in is former Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, writes McClain (via Twitter). He adds that Wilfork knows head coach Bill O’Brien from their time together in New England, and is especially close with defensive coordinator Romeo Crennell.
- The team could also be interested in Chiefs safety Ron Parker, according to Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
- Five or six teams have expressed interest in Brian Hoyer as either a starter or high-level backup, reported Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter). The Texans appear to be on that list (via Twitter).
- McClain also opined on how he expects the team to approach free agency in general, saying he does not expect the team to sign many big name guys due to the self-imposed budgets they have on how they value players (via Twitter). He writes that teams with more cap space will likely overpay for their services. He adds that the Texans have a history of overpaying to retain players, but rarely chase other team’s free agents (via Twitter). He cites the regrettable signings of Ed Reed and Ahman Green as reasons the team will likely be quiet in free agency.