Pending free agent Derek Newton, starting Right Tackle for the Houston Texans, is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 10th, 2015. There has been some discussion on what Newton will command on the open market, and the consensus seemed to hover around the $4 million per year average mark. Newton’s new deal would likely include guaranteed money up around $8 million. Pending Charger free agent, King Dunlap, has signed an extension per Ian Rapport of the NFL Network that is reportedly worth $28 million over 4 years. The extension also has $13 million in guaranteed money including a $6.5 million signing bonus.
Dunlap is a left tackle, but this does set a good baseline for the free agent Tackle market. Derek Newton has shown the ability to play both ends of the offensive line; and he is younger than Dunlap. This new deal will likely increase Newton’s asking price up in the neighborhood of $6-$7 million per year, with a minimum of $10 million in guaranteed money. Newton is still viewed as a high priority free agent for Houston. Head coach Bill O’Brien has continually mentioned Newton’s name in a positive manner.
Expect Houston to offer Newton a 5 year deal worth $32 million, including $12 million in guaranteed money. Houston could let Newton test the market to determine his value, but history shows once a player gets to that point he won’t be returning to his former team.
Houston has until March 10th to sign Newton to an extension before he is able to test the market and sign with another team.