The Houston Texans have problems aplenty on their hands. In addition to a roster with holes in several areas and the legal issues surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson, the team has several players who signed a one-year contract this offseason and will be free agents again in 2022.
Since the Texans will have very little cap space to work with in 2022, the team will likely lose important players.
Five Houston Texans stars likely to be on the move.
#1 - Tyrod Taylor, QB
Tyrod Taylor is just the bridge quarterback in Houston this year. He may easily win the starting spot over Davis Mills.
Still, it's a classic case of a veteran quarterback who only holds the job until a younger player develops and takes over.
In any case, Taylor has demonstrated on several occasions that he's not good enough to start in the NFL. It's hard to imagine a scenario in 2021 that would make it possible for him to return to the Texans next year.
#2 - Whitney Mercilus, OLB
Whitney Mercilus is a critical player for the Texans, who has never received enough attention due to the presence of J.J. Watt. Mercilus was nominated for the second-team All-Pro in 2016. He has 54 sacks and 13 forced fumbles in his career.
After almost a decade with the franchise, the 32-year-old will hit the market next year as a free agent. He should sign with a team that is in optimal condition to win a ring. .
#3 - David Johnson, RB
Some trades can go wrong for an NFL team. On a much higher level, we have the deal in which the Texans welcomed David Johnson from the Arizona Cardinals - or, in other words, the same trade that saw DeAndre Hopkins move to Arizona.
Johnson even had good numbers in 2020, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and surpassing 1000 scrimmage yards. But Hopkins is an elite wide receiver who has continued to play at a very high level with the Cardinals, while Johnson is an expensive running back that adds little to the team's overall performance.
#4 - Maliek Collins, DT
Maliek Collins is a solid player who'll have a starting role in the Texans' defense in 2021. Collins is the perfect example of a signing who, no matter how well he plays this season, won't be back next year because of Houston's dire financial situation.
He has performed well in his career with the Dallas Cowboys and can be an essential rotational player for several defensive lines in the NFL. Knowing he has the skills to play for a team that may reach the playoffs, he'll not return to the Texans in 2022.
#5 - Randall Cobb, WR
Randall Cobb won't be a free agent in 2022, but his $10.25 million salary, with only two million in dead cap if he gets cut, makes him an easy target for the Texans to make room on the salary cap - there's no way he'll be back in Houston on that salary next year.
Cobb's prime was behind him when he was one of the primary weapons in the Green Bay Packers' potent offense at the beginning of the last decade. Despite reviving his career with good performances with the Dallas Cowboys and Houston in 2020, he can no longer be seen as a great wide receiver, with his skills being average at best. Cobb will be cut next year.