Today marked the deadline for NFL teams to adhere the franchise tag to one of their players, and it passed without the Houston Texans tagging strong safety Glover Quin. While the Texans can still re-sign Quin before free agency starts on March 12, the move doesn’t make much sense.
First, franchise tagging Quin would have cost the Texans $6.916. Despite Houston having a less-than-ideal financial situation, that’s a reasonable amount for an up-and-coming safety like Quin. He’s a budding star among the Texans defense, and deserved more respect than he received leading up to the deadline.
Second, the Texans likely aren’t going to get a hometown discount from Quin. They have limited resources to retain Quin with, while other contenders have the cap space and willingness to give him the contract he deserves. Especially for teams looking for help at safety (Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots), there are going to be some offers floating across Quin’s agent’s desk that will blow away anything the Texans can table. Plus, he might be more willing to sign with a top on the rise rather than a Houston franchise that appears to have hit some competitive ceiling.
Finally, Quin is among the best available options in a 2013 free agency class in terms of safety talent. There are several aging veterans who could be on the market (Charles Woodson, Ed Reed). There are also some younger players potentially available (DaShon Goldson, Kenny Phillips, Gerald Sensabaugh), but all come with their fair share of question marks. Quin is a well-rounded safety who could be one of the top targets for teams looking for safety help considering the unpredictability of the class.
While the Texans’ positioning with the No. 26 pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft is an intriguing option to nab a top safety prospect, retaining Quin would be the better option. Kenny Vacarro is the only seemingly sure thing in the 2013 safety class, but will likely be gone by that point in the draft.
The pressure is now on Texans GM Rick Smith to re-sign Quin before other teams are allowed to throw offers his way in four days. If a deal isn’t done by then, Houston can kiss him goodbye.