With the 2021 NFL Draft set to get underway this week (Thursday, April 29--May 1), teams need to pay extra attention to their finances.
NFL officials will have all 32 franchise teams under close inspection before kick-off for the new season in September. A team that crosses the salary cap limit risks financial penalties or even the loss of future picks, depending on the severity of its indiscretion.
As such, all 32 franchise teams in the NFL must strive to ensure they come in under the $182.5 million salary cap limit, including today's focus, the Houston Texans.
How much cap space do the Houston Texans have ahead of the 2021 NFL season?
After allowing star DE J.J. Watt to join the Arizona Cardinals last month, Spotrac.com states that as of April 28, 2021, the Houston Texans' current estimated cap space is $10,048,679.
For most franchise teams, this amount of financial maneuverability would be viewed positively. But Houston fans have seen two of their biggest stars, J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins, vacate Texas in just over a year.
Moreover, Deshaun Watson's sexual assault allegations loom large over the entire franchise. The Texans also have a lower-tier ranked secondary, offensive line, and pass coverage unit that all need major improvements before September 9.
In short, the Houston Texans need to dramatically reshape a subpar, underperforming roster but probably don't have the budget to do so.
Who is the highest-paid Houston Texans player in 2021?
The player with the highest cap hit against the Texans roster is the troubled QB, Deshaun Watson. The former Clemson star is set to earn a guaranteed salary of $10,540,000, plus a prorated bonus of $5,40,000, taking his total cap hit to $15,940,000.
The Texans turned down calls from eight franchises to trade for Watson just weeks before over 20 women filed lawsuits against the QB for sexual assault.
Watson's stock has certainly fallen since those allegations made their way into the court of public opinion, but don't be surprised to see him leave Texas in a trade either during or shortly after the 2021 NFL Draft.
Also check out: Complete 2017 NFL Draft Results