Houston Texans Offseason Preview 2023: Free Agents, Cut Candidates, and Team Needs

Let's break down the Houston Texans' 2023 offseason, with a look at their free agents, cut candidates, cap space, and team needs.

The Houston Texans‘ rebuild needs to click into high gear in 2023. After three straight years of double-digit losses — including the previous two with Nick Caserio in charge of personnel — patience will soon wane.

The good news is the Texans are well-positioned to quickly infuse their roster with much-needed talent. We explore the club’s consequential coming months, breaking down Texans free agents, team needs, and cut candidates.

Houston Texans Offseason Preview: Now or Never for Nick Caserio

How much closer are the Texans to competing this time last year? They still need a quarterback, but that’s just the beginning of Houston’s issues on offense.

They couldn’t run the ball or throw the ball even close to an acceptable level. And while there are some promising young pieces in the defensive backfield (Jalen Pitre and Derek Stingley), it’s the only area of the team that doesn’t need significant improvement.

The first order of business will be deciding what to do at head coach. Lovie Smith drew a bad hand, but he has played it poorly.

Then the next big order of business: Deciding what to do at quarterback. Davis Mills has proven that he’s not the guy.

The Texans will likely look to the draft to address that most critical position. They are well-positioned to do so, owning both their own and the Browns’ first-rounders. In all, they have 13 selections, including five in the first three rounds.

Between that and a clean balance sheet, Caserio has the opportunity to change the direction of an irrelevant franchise. It will probably be his last big chance.

Texans’ 2023 Salary Cap Space

According to Spotrac, the Texans were under the 2023 salary cap by $47.7 million as of early January, giving them the seventh-most space in the NFL.

That figure includes less than $1 million in dead cap and $1.4 million in rollover space. It is based on an estimated $225 million NFL salary cap in 2023.

The exact cap figure will not be known until the NFL announces it in early March.

Texans Free Agents 2023

The following Texans players are set to hit free agency. (Restricted free agents are noted with the abbreviation RFA; exclusive rights free agents by ERFA.)

  • TE Jordan Akins
  • QB Kyle Allen
  • RB Rex Burkhead
  • LB Blake Cashman
  • WR Phillip Dorsett
  • QB Jeff Driskell
  • RB Royce Freeman
  • DE Rasheem Green
  • ILB Neville Hewitt
  • TE O.J. Howard
  • G Justin McCray
  • WR Chris Moore
  • OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
  • S Jonathan Owens
  • OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis
  • C Scott Quessenberry
  • OLB Derek Rivers
  • CB Tremon Smith
  • SS M.J. Stewart
  • CB Tavierre Thomas
  • LS Jon Weeks

Defensive End Rasheem Green

Spotrac’s calculated market value: Two years, $6.9 million ($3.4 million AAV)

Overview: The former third-round pick signed a one-year, $3.3 million deal last offseason when it became clear his free agency wasn’t going to go as well as hoped. He might not have to do the same this time around after a solid but not spectacular season, although he still isn’t likely to break the bank.

Tight End Jordan Akins

Spotrac’s calculated market value: One year, $2.6 million ($2.6 million AAV)

Overview: Few if any Texans players have appeared in more games for the franchise in the last four years than Akins. So if you’re looking for a tough, dependable No. 2 tight end on a budget, Akins could be your guy.

Potential Cut Candidates

  • DE Jerry Hughes ($5 million)
  • DT Maliek Collins ($4.5 million)
  • LB Christian Kirksey ($5 million)

Texans’ Team Needs Heading Into 2023 Offseason

  • Quarterback
  • EDGE
  • Guard
  • Wide Receiver
  • Center

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