Texans Eyeing Free Agent Running Backs?

After Dameon Pierce struggled during his sophomore campaign, the Texans could be in the market for a new starting running back. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, there’s buzz around the NFL that the Texans could try to improve at the position as they look to take some of the load off quarterback C.J. Stroud.

Pierce appeared to be the team’s RB of the future following his standout rookie campaign. The 2022 fourth-round pick finished his first season in the NFL with 1,104 yards from scrimmage, the third-most among rookie RBs (behind Kenneth Walker and Tyler Allgeier).

However, Pierce couldn’t replicate that production in 2023. He didn’t top four yards-per-rush in any of his first seven starts, and following a three-game inactive streak, he was firmly behind Devin Singletary on the depth chart.

Over those final seven games, Pierce only garnered 36 carries, and he was limited to only six offensive snaps in the postseason. In total, Pierce finished this past season with 517 yards from scrimmage on 158 touches, good for an average of 3.3 yards per touch. Pro Football Focus ultimately graded him 47th among 59 qualifying RBs.

Singletary topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage for a third-straight season, but the veteran is set to hit free agency. While there’s a chance he could look to extend his stay in Houston beyond one season, there’s no guarantee he’ll be back. Dare Ogunbowale is also an impending free agent, so the Texans will need to add some depth at the position.

While the organization could look to reset the position at the draft, it sounds like they’re considering using a chunk of their $60MM-plus in cap space at the RB position. Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry, Tony Pollard, and Austin Ekeler lead the list of free agent RBs heading into the offseason.

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