This offseason could go down as one of the most important offseasons in franchise history for the Houston Texans. There is plenty of pressure on Bill O’Brien to get it done as a head coach and a general manager. The team is slowly making progress in their playoff runs. The number of trades made at the beginning of the season got Houston younger and taking more risks. The first thing to improving Houston will be looking at who is leaving and which one of them should return.
Johnathan Joseph, Cornerback
While some would consider this season to be an off-year for the veteran corner, Johnathan Joseph has been a focal point for the secondary since 2011. It may be a hard taste for fans to see him walk, but with Joseph approaching 36, the team may need to move on from him. He still displays great coverage skills and something left in the tank. He could take the same direction that DeAngelo Hall and Charles Woodson did and move to safety.
Lamar Miller, Running Back
Last season was a killer for Lamar Miller after tearing his ACL in the preseason against the Dallas Cowboys and being lost for the season. His replacement, Carlos Hyde, played well earning over 1,000 rushing yards for the season. Miller is a dynamic player who can impact the running game and passing game. Obviously, fans would love to see Miller and Hyde come back and be a dominant backfield duo. Unfortunately, it may come down to the team picking between the two. If Miller can bounce back from an ACL injury as well as Adrian Peterson did, he may have a few strong seasons left in him.
Bradley Roby, Cornerback
While not playing as many games as fans had hoped, Bradley Roby still showed good signs that he can be a good coverage corner in the league. If he wouldn’t have missed six games this season, his stats could have led to one of his best seasons in the league. Still, under 30, Houston might be inclined to bring him back as a veteran in the secondary. Johnathan Joseph could be on his way out which opens the door for Roby to step in.
A.J. McCarron, Quarterback
He didn’t get much playing time because Deshaun Watson is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Don’t look now, but having a backup quarterback is imperative to have on the team. A.J. McCarron added a sigh of relief for the Texans and their fans should they lose Watson to injury. He hasn’t started many games in his career, but his experience helps with depth at the position. It may cost a price, but it may be worth it.
Carlos Hyde, Running Back
Carlos Hyde stepped in for Lamar Miller and produced career highs in carries and rushing yards with his first career 1,000-yard season. He shows great power as a bigger back and proved he can carry the load as a starter. Hyde put the Texans in a tough position where they may need to choose between him and Miller. Both guys are capable of starting in the league. The team must ask which one is worth the risk.
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