53 Man Roster Projection (version 1)

Now that we have two preseason games and a few weeks of training camp notes to work from; below is my first take on the final 53 man roster for the Houston Texans.

Notes:

  1. Any vested veteran (4 accrued seasons) that makes the final 53 man roster for Week 1 of the regular season; their P5 base salary will become fully guaranteed for the season.
  2. Dead money charges for players released or traded will be split accordingly between the 2015 & 2016 league years now that we have passed June 1 designation period.
  3. I do not anticipate Arian Foster being placed on Injured Reserve-Return to start the season.
  4. I cannot account for the team claiming players from other rosters during the final cut downs.
  5. I cannot account for the team placing players on injured reserve.

OFFENSE (25) – $52,063,156

Quarterbacks (3) – $8,991,396
Brian Hoyer $5,218,750
Ryan Mallett $3,187,500
Tom Savage $585,146

This is pretty obvious now that Hoyer has been named the starter for the 2015 season.  Mallett will be waiting ready to go should Hoyer not perform.  Another red shirt year for Savage to be a sponge.  His progress this year has been outstanding.

Running Back (5) – $10,974,248
Arian Foster $8,706,250
Alfred Blue $539,483
Chris Polk $747,500
Kenny Hilliard $451,345
Jay Prosch $529,670

I project Arian Foster to start the season on the active roster and missing 3-5 games before he is active for game day.  If Polk can stay healthy for the remainder of camp, I think he has a real chance to pass up John Grimes.  If Polk cannot stay healthy then Grimes will make the roster.  I do think the team will look at other options that may come available during the final team cut downs.

Wide Receivers (5) – $6,252,693
DeAndre Hopkins $2,080,009
Cecil Shorts $2,453,125
Nate Washington $615,000
Jaelen Strong $627,996
Keith Mumphrey $476,563

This is a very difficult decision.  Having to carry 4 running backs will make things difficult.  Chandler Worthy has been doing well in the KR/PR game; but ultimately I think he ends up on the practice squad.  Johnson can perform some PR duties, along with Mumphrey.  Keshawn Martin & Alan Bonner will not be able to punch through to make the team.  Damarius Johnson is on the bubble.

Tight Ends (3) – $5,257,371
Garrett Graham $3,921,875
C.J. Fiedorowicz $730,826
Ryan Griffin $604,670

I was leaning towards the team carrying 4 tight ends, but with 4 RB’s and 3 QB’s, the roster will need to tighten up in other areas.  Mike McFarland appears to be staying on the team Injured Reserve and will have a shot in 2016.

Offensive Linemen (9) – $20,587,448
Duane Brown $9,500,000
Derek Newton $4,500,000
Ben Jones $1,662,362
Xavier Su’A Filo $1,261,727
Brandon Brooks $1,696,359
Jeff Adams $510,000
Greg Mancz $437,000
Cody White $585,000
James Ferentz $435,000

The offensive line depth is very thin.  Jeff Adams has been filling in for Su’A Filo at LG during preseason.  Adams’ regular position is RT; so I expect him to be the swing tackle.  Greg Mancz & Cody White can play all 3 interior positions.  James Ferentz is the one question mark here, and the team may opt to go another route by adding another tackle.

DEFENSE (25) $69,194,295

Defensive Linemen (6) – $20,782,514
J.J. Watt $13,969,000
Vince Wilfork $3,500,000
Jared Crick $1,639,875
Louis Nix $673,813
Christian Covington $457,621
Jeoffrey Pagan $542,205

This is a very solid group.  Covington has proved, so far, to be a 6th round steal to work in the sub-package pass rusher role.  Expecting a big year for Jared Crick, he very well could be too expensive for Houston in 2016 when he becomes a free agent.  Tevita Finau has had a solid camp thus far, and many are projecting him to win the last spot over Pagan.

 Outside Linebackers (4) – $9,061,075
JaDaveon Clowney $5,062,045
Whitney Mercilus $2,979,030
John Simon $585,000
Kourtnei Brown $435,000

I firmly believe the effectiveness of this group will rely on Clowney’s health.  Simon & Mercilus are better LB’s for the strong set and setting the edge.  Kourtnei Brown is one of the UDFA success stories so far.  Jason Ankrah is still pushing hard to make the team as well.

Inside Linebackers (6) – $12,527,466
Brian Cushing $7,891,250
Bernardrick McKinney $971,841
Mike Mohamed $660,000
Akeem Dent $1,859,375
Max Bullough $510,000
Jeff Tarpinian $635,000

Justin Tuggle is firmly in the discussion for the inside linebacker group, and could steal the last spot from Max Bullough.  They will need to put on a show in practice and in the 4th preseason game to grab that last spot.  McKinney will likely be a 2 down backer his rookie year.  Mike Mohamed is an excellent coverage linebacker for the sub packages.

Cornerbacks (6) – $22,710,959
Jonathan Joseph $11,750,000
Kareem Jackson $7,453,125
Kevin Johnson $1,827,166
A.J. Bouye $586,668
Darryl Morris $585,000
Charles James $510,000

Charles James is undoubtedly the star of the Hard Knocks show and is making a name for himself on the field as well on special teams.  Charles was all over 3 punt returns in the Denver game.  That’s what it is going to take to make this team.  Jumal Rolle is the odd man out here if the team only carries 6 cornerbacks.  The team may opt to run with 5 linebackers and add another cornerback.

Safeties (3) – $4,112,281
Rahim Moore $3,000,000
Quintin Demps $585,000
Andre Hal $527,281

This group I had some trouble with after the first three players listed.  The team very well may go with four safeties safeties and five linebackers.

Special teams will determine which position group gets the added players between the cornerbacks, safeties, and inside linebackers.

Special Teams (3) – $3,596,611
Randy Bullock $704,527
Shane Lechler $2,083,334
Jon Weeks $808,750

 

Total Cap Charge for Top 53 $124,854,062.

This would project out for the team to have ~$6.7 million available in cap space to start the season.

We will take another look at this after the roster cut down to 75 players on September 1st.

Troy

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