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Rebuilding the Houston Texans: Extend J.J. Watt, restructure Laremy Tunsil, revamp the secondary and more

Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) in the huddle during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

How did we get here?

The Houston Texans had Super Bowl aspirations for 2020 after finally breaking through and winning their first playoff game with Deshaun Watson in 2019. A historic collapse against the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs — which saw Houston squander a 24-0 lead in a 10-minute span in the second quarter — ended the most promising campaign in franchise history.

Naturally, the belief internally was that Houston was in the same class as Kansas City and just needed to make a few moves to put them over the top. Evidently, that was not the case.

Free agency and trades

Houston struggled with something that troubles a lot of NFL teams:  It did not have a truly good grasp on its own roster. Having a general manager would have probably helped. Self-scouting is so vitally important in the NFL because a team has to have a clear direction in each offseason. When a franchise is both rebuilding but also trying to contend the very next season, odds are that it will end up in cap hell rebuilding once again.

That’s exactly what happened with the Texans. They struck gold on the most important position in all of sports — landing Deshaun Watson at No. 12 overall is one of the better draft picks this decade. However, essentially every move besides that one has been an epic failure. And even the trade up for Watson had an unfortunate outcome.


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