The Houston Texans first deal of their offseason in 2019 might be a shocker to most fans. The Texans’ offensive line and Deshaun Watson allowed 62 sacks in the 2018 season, which tied for fifth all-time in NFL history. A sad note for the Texans: they have three entries on this record; David Carr 2002 76 sacks (NFL Record), David Carr 2005 68, Deshaun Watson 2018 62 via Aaron Wilson.
As reported by Ian Rapport, the Texans extended right tackle Seantrel Henderson to a one-year deal for $4.5 million. Henderson’s extension is a performance-based contract. Fans are wondering why the Texans brought back Henderson after he missed most of the season.
A history with the GM
Houston Texans General Manager Brian Gaine and Henderson have been connected for the last three seasons. Henderson played for the Buffalo Bills when the Bills’ front office hired Gaine in 2017. The Texans’ right tackle has had an up and down career.
He got off to a promising start to his career in 2014, when he started every game for the Bills. But in 2015, his Crohn’s Disease and suspensions began to affect his play. In 2018, he broke his ankle in the first game of the season vs. the New England Patriots.
One of Gaine’s first moves as Texans GM was signing Henderson to a one-year free agency deal for $4 million in April of 2018. This was like the contract he just accepted this past Saturday.
What’s his role on the Texans?
Is he just a camp body, depth or viewed as a starter by Gaine? I can envision him as the Texans’ starting RT in the 2019 season. Texans Head coach Bill O’Brien is not the type of coach that wants to keep overhauling his offensive line. O’Brien would rather build on what he has already taught, using players who have an understanding of his system. By signing him early, it gives him the upper hand to continue to rehab under the Texans’ medical team and workout at the team’s facility.
Even with his deal majority performance-based, the $4.5 million he accepted is the 16th-highest for all right tackles in the NFL. He won the starting job and played well during the preseason last year. Gaine could see real value in him and might have long term plans for Henderson as a member of Texans. Henderson has the size, talent, and toughness to be a top-tier right tackle.
Texans fans will have wait and see if this is a shrewd move by Gaine that could help fix the offensive line and get this team closer to winning the Super Bowl next season. It is the first move of 2019 off-season and one of many to come for the Texans, in Gaine we trust.