Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images
The Mendoza Line is actually a baseball term to define a piss-poor batting average. Any player hitting .200-.215 is considered to be hitting below the Mendoza Line. Think about it: the Texans' personnel moves over the years have been at or below the Mendoza Line for their history.
"Texans need offensive line help, especially at left tackle. They should go after Trent Brown. He's a former Patriot and fits their M.O. of mimicking anything New England does." Brown ended up signing a four year deal for $66 million with the Raiders not too long after the "official" negotiating period opened.
"Texans need to bring back Tyrann Mathieu. He's the best safety this team has had, a real leader, and they need help in the defensive backfield because the corners suck!" Mathieu signed a three year deal for $42 million with the Chiefs. He reportedly turned down a deal with the Texans for three years worth $9.5 million a year.
This pattern of behavior is nothing new for this organization. For Texans fans, it has been one bad breakup after the next. The relationship between fans and this organization has been abusive in nature. The organization continues to string the fans along with promises of improving, building a winner, and becoming a perennial contender. Yet sadly, it has done nothing but mire in mediocrity, hang banners for winning the AFC South with 9-7 records, and bumble offseason improvements. While this offseason is off to a pissy start, it should look eerily familiar to those who've paid attention over the years.
It goes back to the Texans' initial draft. Most would think starting a franchise from scratch would necessitate drafting a quarterback to be the face of the newborn franchise. David Carr was sitting there as the consensus number one quarterback/player on the draft board in 2002. So was Julius Peppers. Peppers was a can't-miss physical freak at defensive end, while Carr was a good, not great, quarterback. The franchise further bumbled this decision by not putting together an offensive line or quality running back to help Carr. Sure they drafted Andre Johnson in 2003, but that wasn't enough to save Carr. he was damaged goods after getting sacked 76 times his rookie year which is still an NFL record.
Cornerback is another position of need this offseason. When the team drafted Kevin Johnson in 2015, they passed on a guy they may sign this offseason who is clearly better in Ronald Darby (drafted 34 slots after Johnson), the best corner in that draft Marcus Peters (drafted two slots after Johnson, but deemed "not Texans-worthy" due to off-field issues), and Byron Jones (picked 11 slots later and was the combine darling with his show of athleticism). Where's Johnson? He signed with the Bills.
The idiocy doesn't stop at draft picks. Remember the extensions given to Matt Schaub and Brian Cushing? How about the signings of Ed Reed and Ahman Green? Who can forget preseason Hall of Famer Lestar Jean? Anybody recall the trade for Phillip Buchanon?
General Manager Brian Gaine had a good offseason last year. Working with less than optimal draft picks and keeping cap space in mind, he managed to improve a 4-12 team to 11-5 and making the playoffs via winning the AFC South. That only made the expectations higher in the eyes of the fans and supporters. If Gaine wants to build upon his success from last offseason, he's going to have to pull another rabbit out of his hat. He's armed with about $60-some odd million in cap space and three picks in the first 64 selections of the draft. The immediate return of investment on draft picks isn't always noticeable, but quality free agent signings are judged with immediacy because they're veterans.
Going from the Mendoza Line to .300 means getting a hit three out of 10 times instead of two. That one extra hit every 10 at-bats could mean the difference in being a Hall of Fame player, or a forgotten nobody. Translated into football vernacular: Brian Gaine can go from Charlie Casserly to Bobby Bethard. Not in the sense of going from a coat-rider to a Hall of Famer, but in the sense of going from a nobody to a somebody.
One of the big factors that led to the Texans' loss to the Jaguars on Sunday was the secondary. Multiple flags for pass interference gave Jacksonville more opportunities to pick up first downs and score points.
Can confirm #Texans backup CB Shaq Griffin was cut.
Griffin started 6 games this year when Derek Stingley was out with a hamstring.
— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) November 29, 2023
So it's no surprise that DeMeco Ryans is making some changes to his defense this week. According to several reports, Texans corner Shaq Griffin has been cut.
Nickel corner Tavierre Thomas was flagged for PI more than once on Sunday, and was burned badly by Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley for a touchdown.
DeMeco was asked after the game if he considered replacing Thomas with Desmond King or Shaq Griffin. Ryans didn't give a definitive answer, but it looks like we got one today.
One has to wonder if Desmond Kings' experience playing nickel was the reason for his promotion to the active roster and why Griffin was released. If Thomas continues to struggle, King looks like the next man up to replace him.
#Texans activate Denzel Perryman, promote Desmond King to active roster, release Shaq Griffin, sign Matt Ammendola and Garret Wallow to practice squad, released Gerrid Doaks from practice squad and placed Tytus Howard (knee-patellar tendon surgery pending) on injured reserve https://t.co/knyyoqo7yC
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 29, 2023
The Texans also made some other adjustments to their roster on Wednesday, per Aaron Wilson. Linebacker Denzel Perryman returns from suspension, kicker Matt Ammendola and linebacker Garret Wallow join the practice squad. They also released Gerrid Doaks from the practice squad.
The other big piece of news involves left guard Tytus Howard. He heads to injured reserve, ending his season after hurting his knee against Jacksonville.