3 reasons the Texans won't sign problematic players
The Texans are in a unique position. They're coming off a playoff appearance, had/have a fair amount of cap space, need to use said cap space to resign their star quarterback, have very little draft capital to bring in cheap labor, and traded their quarterback's best offensive weapon. Maybe unique wasn't the word to use. Unenviable. Difficult. Predicament. Pickle. Maybe one of those better describes their state of affairs at the moment. While they could use an infusion of talent, I'll have to disagree with Coty Davis' article last week about them signing Josh Gordon.
Don't get me wrong. I know it may seem as if I'm being pessimistic, but it's hard to remain hopeful given the way Bill O'Brien has shaped this franchise in his tenure. Sure, he may be a mad scientist who finally figures out his magic potion. He could also be a tinfoil hat wearing buffoon who ruins a franchise. One thing that's clear in his approach: O'Brien will get rid of any player he perceives as a distraction despite what talent they may possess. Jadeveon Clowney: gone. DeAndre Hopkins: bye bye.
O'Brien is looking for guys that'll toe the company line. Anything outside that is seen as detrimental to the progress he's trying to make. Sure, guys like Kenny Stills could be viewed as someone outside that spectrum given his stance on kneeling for the national anthem, but it actually goes along with O'Brien's recent stance of supporting his players' ability to express themselves. The organization's recent stance on social justice issues doesn't mean they're willing to take chances.
Historically, the Texans have been an organization that has steered clear of guys who've been deemed not "Texan-Worthy." You have something questionable in your background? You're probably off their radar. They've passed on guys in both the draft and free agency based on character concerns. I simply don't see them shifting course all of a sudden.
O'Brien wants his kind of guys
As previously stated, O'Brien has gotten rid of extremely talented guys seemingly based off personal bias at worst, or a foolish professional bias at best. When Clowney nets loose cigarettes and Hopkins fetches leftovers from a buffet, you know it was more personal than personnel. O'Brien wouldn't trade a set of headaches for another headache. He may be crazy, but he's not that stupid.
Part of the reason this organization has never signed guys with a little stain on them is the way they look. A guy who's socially conscious nowadays is much more acceptable than a multiple drug suspension guy. While our society may be forgiving, there's always a stigma attached to certain types of people. As a guy who's been in the cleaning industry for almost two decades now, I think I know a bit about what stains will and won't clean up. Multiple drug offenses/suspensions is like having a pet urine stain on handmade wool antique rug that was vegetable dyed. Google it.
Could a player like Josh Gordon help the Texans? Of course he could. Would the Texans ever sign a guy like Gordon? Highly unlikely. I would love to see Gordon in a Texans jersey whenever the NFL comes back, but it's about as likely as getting the Hatfields and McCoys together for a family dinner. We don't always get what we want when it comes to sports. Gordon making his way back to the NFL for his hometown team would be a redemption story for the ages. Hollywood would be chomping at the bit to produce a movie like this. Unfortunately, movies don't turn out the way we want them to. Some don't even make it past the idea room. This one appears to have been lost on the cutting room floor.
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