What to make of the Houston Texans surprising roster moves

What to make of the Houston Texans surprising roster moves
Texans RB Dameon Pierce looks like the clear lead back after Marlon Mack was cut. Photo by Getty Images.

The Houston Texans sent shockwaves through the league when word came down Tuesday that the team is cutting RB Marlon Mack.

This cut has many across the league penciling in Dameon Pierce as the Texans No. 1 back, but don't be surprised if Houston adds another running back in short order. Rex Burkhead will play a role with Pierce, but it's hard to imagine the Texans can't find a better running mate to go with Pierce. GM Nick Caserio should be combing through today's cuts for another back.

Another big move that went down today was the Texans trading DL Ross Blacklock and a 7th round pick to the Vikings for a 6th round pick.

Blacklock never panned out after being drafted in the 2nd round in 2020. Blacklock was the player the Texans drafted with the compensation they received in the DeAndre Hopkins trade, along with RB David Johnson. We can now safely say, Bill O'Brien and Jack Easterby's terrible decision to trade DeAndre Hopkins was an epic failure. We all knew it at the time, but now we can officially call it one of the worst trades in NFL history. Way to go, Bill! It's no surprise he's nowhere to be found in the NFL.

Finally, guard Max Scharping was cut today as well, marking another high pick from the O'Brien era that didn't work out. Clearly, GM Nick Caserio has no problem clearing out all these O'Brien draft flops. But it does make us wonder why it took so long to cut RB David Johnson.

One thing is for sure, with Nick Caserio at the helm, the Texans clearly have more talent on the roster and hopefully better days are ahead.

To see a full list of the Texans cuts, click here.

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How Astros retribution campaign hinges on solving outfield balancing act

While most of the Astros roster is returning for the 2024 season, there are still some areas of uncertainty for the club. Astros manager Joe Espada will have some tough decisions to make in his first season managing the team.

The Astros infield is set, so we know who will be playing on a nightly basis, assuming health. The outfield is where things get tricky. Espada told the Houston Chronicle last week that he hopes to play Alvarez more in left field this season, which would open up the DH spot for Chas McCormick and players he would like to rest while keeping their bat in the lineup (Yainer Diaz, Jose Altuve, etc).

Astros GM Dana Brown would like to see if Jake Meyers can hit well enough to play regularly in center field. This is a team that stresses defense, which Meyers provides. But if defense is the top priority, wouldn't that mean Chas McCormick should play left field with Yordan Alvarez hitting in the DH spot?

Certainly, there will be nights when that's the case. The reality of the situation is all these guys are going to play, but how much and where is yet to be seen.

Houston plays 20 games in 21 days to start the season, so it's not going to take long to see if Meyers is providing enough offense to play regularly. If we get into the month of May and Meyers is an offensive liability in the lineup, we won't be surprised if his playing time starts to decrease. But by how much?

Don't miss the video as we examine how Joe Espada will deploy his outfielders and get the most out of the DH this season!

Watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every week on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel.

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