Today, Cover32 listed their top 10 linebackers set to hit the free agent market. The list includes Brian Orakpo, who’s going to without a doubt be one of the most sough-after free agents this year. The hard-hitting, excellent run-stopper Brandon Spikes is also available, as well as Jason Worilds, Mike Neal and Karlos Dansby.
With the Texans having some money to work with, should they go after one of the linebackers in free agency?
For starters, they should not chase any of the big-named players like Orakpo or Dansby. Those guys will command far too much money, and the cash-strapped Texans shouldn’t use their limited cap space on a position that’s already in heavy strength.
Spikes could be a solid option. As already said, he’s a hard-hitting player who’s no stranger to personal foul calls for his hits, but is also excellent in stopping the run. A key weakness is how slow he is and how much he struggles in coverage. The Texans probably wouldn’t be interested.
The Texans also have Brian Cushing, who just signed a six-year $55.6 million dollar contract early in the 2013 season. Before his season-ending knee injury, Cushing was having an excellent season as a leader on the defense, and the Texans collapsed once he got injured.
Aside from Cushing, Brooks Reed is another solid linebacker. He is a free agent next year, but the Texans will all but surely do everything they can to keep him. The Texans also carry plenty of linebackers on the depth chart, highlighted by Joe Mays.
Because the Texans are so steep in the linebacker position and have plenty of money committed there, they should hold off of signing a linebacker in free agency, unless Cushing’s rehab progress is slow. That doesn’t appear likely, so don’t expect the Texans to break the bank there.