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The Houston Texans walked away from the 2014 NFL Draft with their Quarterback issues still intact. They lost Matt Schaub in the off-season, and they gained Ryan Fitzpatrick, but even with this move, the need for a Quarterback is still very much present.
This however, will not be addressed, unless the Texans decide to go out and trade for the ‘In-NFL’ prospects, such as Ryan Mallett or Kirk Cousins. Since it’s becoming more and more unlikely that the Texans will actually do that, they are basically playing the game of, who is the best of the worst.
They currently have Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, and TJ Yates, who will get consideration, and then Tom Savage, who is the prospect, clipboard holder of the group. When a player who enters free agency is on par skill wise with these prospects, and could possibly be better than them, the Texans would be missing an opportunity if they didn’t give the guy a look.
They are at the stage where most free agents could be brought in at a very low price, could compete to the point of potentially winning a starting job, or potentially playing so bad they could be cut again, and literally, it wouldn’t effect the team.
Josh Freeman was cut by the New York Giants. Freeman was awful last season in his stint as the starter in Tampa Bay, and was even more atrocious in his one game stint in Minnesota. But, the Texans may be able to use him, if they can get the production we saw from Freeman in the years prior to 2013.
As I mentioned earlier, the Texans have no real talent at Quarterback, and the job could be up for grabs for Freeman. Freeman wasn’t great in his seasons prior to 2013, but he was formidable, and it could be argued that he was more formidable than Ryan Fitzpatrick has been.
In 2011 and 2012 combined, Freeman threw for 7,657 yards, with a completion percentage at about 59%. The most worrisome stat involving freeman is his TD-INT ratio, which was 43-39 in that sample size. The thing is, current starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick has had the same issue, with double digit interception numbers in each of his last 5 seasons.
The bottom line is this: If you had Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh Freeman at Quarterback, you’re probably going to turn the ball over quite a lot. The question is, who is more adequate at being effective when the ball is not being turned over.
In Bill O’ Brien’s play action system, I think the answer is Josh Freeman. Josh Freeman is better at taking the ball under center, and playing effectively in a system other than that of the spread. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been good when he can line up in shotgun and throw in the spread style system, which is helpful to all Quarterbacks.
Josh Freeman didn’t have that luxury for the entire time in Tampa Bay. Also, while the argument could be made that Fitzpatrick is better at throwing outside receivers open, Josh Freeman is definitely better at throwing to targets in the middle of the field, especially the Tight end.
In Bill O’ Brien’s system, the Tight end will be a primary target, especially coming out of play action. Also, while Freeman isn’t great at throwing outside receivers open, due to the talent of Houston’s outside receivers, DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson, Freeman wouldn’t have to throw them open as much, because they will already do a good job of getting open themselves, and moving away from coverage.
Josh Freeman would be a great signing for the Texans. He’s low risk, high reward. There’s no risk to bring this guy in, because as fast as you sign him, you can cut him back off the roster. They could bring him in, give him a chance and see what he can do in Bill O’ Brien’s system. If he performs admirably, then they keep him and have a Quarterback battle involving him, and if not, they send him packing.