The Houston Texans made an attempt to address offensive line problems, but it may not have been the team’s first choice. Rather than go out and find a free agent right tackle with the $3.8 million of cap space the team has left, Houston has opted to bring back Ryan Harris for a one-year deal.
Harris originally came to the Texans last September, where he played a few games on special teams and then the remainder of the season at right tackle, starting in two games.
Houston had originally added Harris to the roster last season to add some depth to the roster after starting RT Rashad Butler was placed on injured reserve with a torn triceps suffered in training camp. He then split time with Derek Newton who had been battling leg injuries for most of the season.
Ryan may not have been the best choice for the Texans, but he was certainly the most affordable. While they may have gotten better play out of free agents such as Tyson Clabo, the small amount of cap space remaining for Houston played a key factor in the decision. Houston will probably need about $3 million to sign any rookies drafted this season, so money left for signing free agents was minimal.
Newton underwent knee surgery in February, so the Texans’ training camp will have an interesting battle for the starting spot between Harris and Newton.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Harris was a third round draft pick by the Denver Broncos in 2007, and is the third unrestricted free agent to re-sign with the Texans, including tackle Andrew Gardner and cornerback Brice McCain.