How latest report indicates Houston Texans have taken another step as a franchise


How latest report indicates Houston Texans have taken another step as a franchise
Danielle Hunter turned down more money from the Colts? Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Texans have received a lot of praise for their approach to free agency, especially the signing of Danielle Hunter, the best pass-rusher on the market.

But things could have gone very different. Just before the weekend, it was revealed that the Colts actually offered Hunter more money, but he opted to join the Texans instead.

While geography likely played a role in his decision, he grew up in Katy, the Texans' ability to quickly turn things around and become a legit contender had to be the deciding factor.

With DeMeco Ryans, CJ Stroud, and Will Anderson leading the team for the foreseeable future, Hunter must have liked his chances better in Houston.

Hunter will be thirty years old this season, so he's starting to run out of time if he wants to win a Super Bowl before he retires. Which explains why he would pick the Texans over the Colts.

The Colts weren't bad last season, and they do have a talented roster with a respected GM and head coach. But the quarterback situation is a bit of an unknown, with rookie Anthony Richardson missing most of the season with a shoulder injury.

In fact, the Colts took some heat for their approach to free agency. They re-signed a lot of their own players, but didn't make splashy moves like the Texans did. Clearly, they were hoping that Hunter would be their big free agent pickup, but he preferred joining the Texans, even if it was for less money.

As a Texans fan, this feels great. The organization was considered arguably the worst franchise in the NFL over the last several seasons. And, now, players not only want to join the team, but they're willing to take less money to come to Houston? Quite the turnaround DeMeco and GM Nick Caserio have pulled off.

A lot can happen in a year.

Be sure to check out the above below as Craig from Sports Talk Extra reacts to the news.

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Welcome back, Justin! Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will make his season debut Friday night at the Washington Nationals.

Houston manager Joe Espada made the announcement Wednesday.

“Getting him back is huge because it brings a level of confidence to our team, a boost of confidence that we’re going to get someone who’s been an MVP, a Cy Young (winner) on the mound,” Espada said. “It's (good) for the morale and to get stuff started and moving in the right direction.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner opened the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He made two rehabilitation starts, the first for Triple-A Sugar Land on April 7 before Saturday’s start for Double-A Corpus Christi.

Espada wouldn't say how many pitches the 41-year-old would be limited to but said they'll keep an eye on his workload.

“We've got to be careful how hard we push him early,” Espada said. “I know he’s going to want to go and stay out there and give us an opportunity to win, but we've got to be cautious of how hard we push him early in the season.”

Verlander wasn’t thrilled with the results in his rehabilitation starts, but he said Monday that those games were valuable in getting him prepared to come off the IL.

He allowed seven hits and six runs — five earned — in four innings against Frisco on Saturday. He struck out three, walked one and threw 51 of 77 pitches for strikes.

Verlander allowed six earned runs and struck out six while pitching into the fourth inning for Sugar Land on April 7.

The Astros have gotten off to a tough start with Verlander and fellow starters Framber Valdez and José Urquidy on the injured list. They enter Wednesday's games last in the AL West with a 6-13 record.

Espada hopes Verlander can be the boost the team needs to get on track.

“It’s good to get him back in the rotation,” Espada said. “With what he means to this club just to get him back on track, getting some innings from him (to) build our rotation with the pieces that we need to move forward is exciting.”

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