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Locking up Texans’ core players could do a number on salary-cap space – Houston Texans Blog

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HOUSTON — The Houston Texans are expected to make quarterback Deshaun Watson and left tackle Laremy Tunsil among the highest-paid at their positions this offseason, but the team also has many other decisions to make about the makeup of the roster.

The team enters the 2020 offseason with an estimated $41 million in cap space but is expected to spend most — if not all — of that before the start of the season to keep its core in place for the future.

The Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson is currently the highest-paid quarterback, but he is expected to be eclipsed with whatever deal Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes signs, and perhaps what Watson signs, this offseason.

Tennessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan is currently the highest-paid player at his position, but Tunsil and the Baltimore Ravens’ Ronnie Stanley will likely set the market in 2020.

But what about the other free-agent or notable contracts the Texans are to decide on this offseason? Here’s a look:

Contract status for 2020: Unrestricted free agent

What the Texans are thinking: Roby was the Texans’ best cornerback in 2019, but he also made nearly $10 million on a one-year, prove-it deal. Even though he missed five games with a hamstring injury in the middle of the season, he likely priced himself out of Houston. The Texans aren’t likely to pay a premium for one-year contracts going forward, and Roby will get offers for multiyear deals.

Contract status for 2020: Unrestricted free agent

What the Texans are thinking: A fifth-round pick in 2016, Reader’s price went up because of how well he played. In 2019, Reader was Pro Football Focus’ sixth-ranked interior defender and head coach Bill O’Brien and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel have spoken highly of Reader and what he means to the Texans’ defense.

“He’s been a really good player for us ever since the day he walked in here,” O’Brien said. “So, we’re going to sit down with D.J., we’re going to talk and we’re going to try to do what’s best for both sides. We’ll see where that goes.”

The Texans could also use the franchise tag on Reader instead of giving him a big contract extension this offseason or use the time to get a new deal done by the July franchise-tag deadline.

Contract status for 2020: Unrestricted free agent

What the Texans are thinking: Hyde came to Houston with a chip on his shoulder after being traded on cut-down day by the Kansas City Chiefs. Hyde had the best season of his career, with 1,070 yards on 245 carries and six touchdowns.

Houston certainly has room at the position for Hyde, and he said after the loss to Kansas City that he wants to be back with the Texans next season.

“I definitely want to be back here,” Hyde said. “I don’t want to go to another team and start all over again. I felt like Houston was home. I think I handled my part. I’ve just got to let things play out in the offseason and see what happens.”

Contract status for 2020: Unrestricted free agent

What the Texans are thinking: Fells was a great surprise for Houston this season, standing out among the five tight ends the team had in training camp. The 33-year-old had a career-best 34 catches for 341 yards and seven touchdowns, setting a franchise record for touchdowns by a tight end in a season. The Texans might get outbid for Fells’ services next season, but the team will try to bring him back.

Contract status for 2020: Unrestricted free agent

What the Texans are thinking: Joseph has been in Houston since 2011, but he played fewer than 60% of Houston’s snaps this season because starting Week 13, he did not play consistently. In 2018, he played more than 75% of the team’s snaps. But the 35-year-old said he’s not thinking about retirement.

“I’m playing next year,” Joseph said after the playoff loss to the Chiefs. “Without a doubt. Unless someone [doesn’t] employ me.”

Contract status 2020: $9.6 million cap hit, no 2020 dead money

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Jaguars hire Ben McAdoo as quarterbacks coach, source says

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars have added another former head coach to their offensive staff by hiring Ben McAdoo as quarterbacks coach, a league source told ESPN’s Jordan Raanan and Dan Graziano.

McAdoo, who was fired as the New York Giants‘ head coach late in the 2017 season, has been out of football the past two seasons. He joins recently hired offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who spent the past five-plus seasons as the Washington Redskins‘ head coach, on Doug Marrone’s staff.

McAdoo, 42, also interviewed with Marrone to be the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator, a position that opened when the team parted ways with John DeFilippo.

McAdoo spent less than two seasons as the Giants’ head coach and was fired after a 2-10 start in 2017. He benched quarterback Eli Manning before the Week 13 game against Oakland — snapping Manning’s consecutive starts streak at 210 games — and was fired the following Monday along with GM Jerry Reese. The Giants went 11-5, finished second in the NFC East, and lost a wild-card playoff game to Green Bay in his first season.

McAdoo was the Giants’ offensive coordinator from 2014-15 before being hired as head coach after the team fired Tom Coughlin. He also spent two seasons (2012-13) as Green Bay’s quarterbacks coach.

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Jaguars hire Ben McAdoo as quarterbacks coach, sources say

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars have added another former head coach to their offensive staff by hiring Ben McAdoo as quarterbacks coach, league sources told ESPN’s Jordan Raanan and Dan Graziano.

McAdoo has been out of football the past two seasons after being fired as the New York Giants‘ head coach late in the 2017 season. He joins recently hired offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who spent the past five-plus seasons as the Washington Redskins‘ head coach, on Jaguars coach Doug Marrone’s staff.

McAdoo also interviewed with Marrone to be the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator, which was open because the team and former offensive coordinator John DeFilippo parted ways.

McAdoo spent less than two seasons as the Giants’ head coach and was fired after a 2-10 start in 2017. He benched quarterback Eli Manning prior to the Week 13 game against Oakland — snapping Manning’s consecutive start streak at 210 games — and was fired the following Monday along with GM Jerry Reese. The Giants went 11-5, finished second in the NFC East, and lost a wild-card playoff game to Green Bay in his first season.

McAdoo was the Giants’ offensive coordinator from 2014-15 before being hired as head coach after the team fired Tom Coughlin. He also spent two seasons (2012-13) as Green Bay’s quarterbacks coach.

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Cam Newton’s future with Panthers dependent on health, David Tepper reiterates

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Quarterback Cam Newton said during Super Bowl week in Miami he “absolutely” will return to the Carolina Panthers in 2020, but owner David Tepper isn’t ready to make that commitment.

“Listen. I’m not a doctor,” Tepper said on Tuesday. “I’ve said it a million times, is he healthy? He’s not a doctor. There’s a lot of different things that can happen. Is he healthy? And then we can talk.”

Newton had Lisfranc surgery on his left foot in early December. The team, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, wants to work the 2015 NFL MVP out in March to see where he is with his rehabilitation.

Newton, 30, was adamant in several radio interviews before the Kansas City Chiefs defeated San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV that he had “no worries” that he would be back at Carolina. He said he was inspired by his conversations with Tepper and new coach Matt Rhule.

However, Tepper has not publicly said Newton would play this season for the Panthers. He stayed on point Tuesday after his foundation, along with the John M. Belk Endowment and Carolina Panthers Charities, donated $120,000 to go toward new school supplies for 17 Title 1 Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.

“Look, I’ve said again and again about it, it’s a question of how healthy he is,” Tepper said. “That’s still the No. 1 overwhelming thing, to see how healthy he is and to figure out when he’s healthy or not. Everything comes from that.”

Tepper was asked if any teams have shown interest in trading for Newton. Understanding that would be tampering, he cracked a joke about his wife answering phone calls before saying “I haven’t heard about that.”

Newton originally suffered the injury during the third preseason game and then aggravated it in a Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay. He didn’t play the final 14 games, ultimately going on injured reserve before having what was described as “successful” surgery by Dr. Martin O’Malley.

During that time, coach Ron Rivera was fired and eventually replaced by Rhule, the former Baylor coach.

“Through my vantage point, I know I want to be in Charlotte,” Newton said during an ESPN radio interview in Miami. “I know I want to stay in Charlotte. Everything else in pretty much in my own destiny.

“And I’m in the position right now where I told even Coach [Rhule] that you won’t find nobody that’s more dedicated and probably more hungry than myself to not only prove to him and the fans but to prove to myself … that I’m still capable of playing this game of football at a high level.”

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