Texans Transactions

Texans pick up Kevin Johnson's fifth-year option

Kevin Johnson will have another year to prove he can stay healthy. Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

Just two days after the completion of the NFL Draft, the Texans opted to exercise cornerback Kevin Johnson's fifth-year option. This move makes a lot of sense after Houston waited until the seventh round to select their first corner, San Jose State's Jermaine Kelly. With Johnathan Joseph now thirty-four years old, Houston can't realistically expect him to play much longer.

Health has been the main issue with Johnson so far in his career. He was drafted 16th overall in the 2015 draft and will earn a little over $9 million in 2019. Johnson has dealt with foot and knee injuries the last several years, so staying healthy has been difficult for him. He's missed fourteen games the last two seasons, which is certainly a concern moving forward. Johnson has one career interception and one fumble recovery in three years.

If Johnson can bounce back and play as well as he did before his injuries, the Texans will really be in a good spot with their secondary. They already added corner Aaron Colvin, and safety Tyrann Mathieu in free agency. They were also able to "steal" Stanford safety Justin Reid in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

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With the end of the regular season in sight, the Houston Astros host the Kansas City Royals on Friday night, coming off a huge walk-off 2-1 win against the Orioles.

Two players from the finale against Baltimore really stood out for the 'Stros. Jeremy Pena, who had a clutch double late in the game, and Cristian Javier.

Javier struck out 11 batters over 5 innings surrendering only one run, which was exactly what the Astros needed in possibly the most important game of the regular season.

Both Pena and Javier were critical pieces to the Astros title in 2022, and it looks like they're rounding into form at just the right time.

Javier's struggles have caused many to question who would be the team's third starter in the postseason, behind Framber Valdez and Justin Verlander. Let's put this to bed right now, it's Javier.

This should be everything you need to know. Let's start with Hunter Brown. Brown has given up 5 earned runs or more in 4 of his last 7 starts.

How about JP France? France has surrendered 5 or more earned runs in 3 of his last 5 games.

However, Cristian Javier hasn't allowed 5 or more runs in a start since July 3. Javier may only give you 5 innings, but that's actually pretty common for starters in the playoffs. Teams typically remove their starters before the third time through the order.

Prime Time Pena

While the power hasn't been there for Pena this year, he is swinging the bat much better of late. Over his last 30 games, he's hitting .325 while slugging .453. Pena may only have 10 bombs on the year, but he's getting on base and hitting plenty of doubles.

If these two can contribute at a similar level to last postseason, the sky is the limit for the 2023 Astros.

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