HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans' secondary, which ranked second in the NFL in passing yards allowed last season, took a hit on Thursday, losing cornerback A.J. Bouye to the Jacksonville Jaguars and safety Quintin Demps to the Chicago Bears.
The Texans will have to add to the group, which allowed an average of 202 passing yards per game in the 2016 regular season, either through free agency or the draft.
Bouye, a former undrafted free agent, started the season as the Texans’ No. 4 cornerback, behind veterans Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson and 2015 first-round pick Kevin Johnson. The group dealt with injuries this past season and Bouye finished as the Texans’ top cornerback.
The good news for Houston is that the NFL draft this year has a deep class of defensive backs and the Texans should be able to replace Bouye there. The Jaguars gave Bouye a five-year deal worth $67.5 million, $26 million of which is guaranteed. The $13.5 million per year Bouye got was higher than the Texans were willing to go, especially given the depth they have at cornerback.
Demps, who will now be playing for his fifth team in 10 seasons, played the best football of his career in the past two seasons for Houston, both on one-year deals. He agreed to a three-year contract with the Bears on Thursday.
The Texans should get compensatory picks for both Bouye and Demps in the 2018 NFL draft.