How the Houston Texans are taking advantage of other team's mistakes


Texans DeMeco Ryans
The Texans are the class of the division. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans received a lot of praise for their moves in free agency across various outlets. And for good reason, most people believe the team got significantly better with the additions of Danielle Hunter, Azeez Al-Shaair, and Denico Autry among others.

But there's another factor to consider this offseason. How much have the other teams in the AFC South improved?

When looking at the PFF grades in free agency, the Colts received a B-minus. Most of the Colts moves this offseason involved spending a lot of money re-signing their own players. Which is great in theory, but it's hard to improve the overall quality of your roster when you're bringing back players that were already there to begin with. A lot will be riding on player development for the Colts to see a big jump this season. A healthy quarterback wouldn't hurt either.

The Jaguars have made some big additions financially this offseason by signing receiver Gabe Davis and defensive tackle Arik Armstead. They also lost the top receiver on the market, Calvin Ridley, to the Titans. Gabe Davis wasn't able to establish himself as a reliable No. 2 receiver with Josh Allen throwing him the ball in Buffalo. So it's hard to believe he'll take the next step in Jacksonville. Their best move of the offseason might have been retaining edge rusher Josh Allen by using the franchise tag on him. So what did PFF think of Jacksonville's offseason? They received a B-minus, just like the Colts.

The Titans have a lot of turnover heading into the 2024 season, and not just on the roster. They have a new head coach in Brian Callahan, who's looking to revamp Tennessee's offense. Early in free agency, they agreed to terms with former Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, signing him to a 3-year deal at $8 million per season. Which is more money than the Ravens are paying for Derrick Henry, who left the Titans in free agency. Calvin Ridley was the most notable addition to the squad, he received a 4-year, $92 million deal. And while this could be viewed as an overpay, at least he gives the Titans' offense some upside. Their receiving corps looks a lot more dangerous with Ridley added to DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks.

They also spent big at the center position, adding Lloyd Cushenberry on a 4-year, $50 million contract.

Because the Titans spent a lot of money on some highly coveted players, PFF gave them a B.

Now that brings us to the Texans. The Texans re-signed some of their own players like Dalton Schultz and Noah Brown. But they also made some big splashes with Hunter, Autry, Al-Shaair, and Joe Mixon. But the Texans spent their money in a more conservative way by not handing out many contracts over two years in length.

The Texans managed to add the best pass rusher in free agency with Hunter, but it's only a two-year deal. The overall talent level is going up on this roster, and GM Nick Caserio isn't having to sign players to long contracts that could come back and haunt him.

That's why we're seeing post-free agency power rankings coming out with Houston in the Top 10. And that's also why PFF gave the Texans an A for their moves in free agency.

Be sure to check out the video above as Craig from Sports Talk Extra takes an in-depth look at PFF's grades for the AFC South, and much more!

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