The news became a mere blip a day later with the Texans' blockbuster moves to bring in three critical offensive players on big deals. They signed quarterback Brock Osweiler, running back Lamar Miller and guard Jeff Allen. Here's a look at where things stand with the Texans about a month into the new league year.
Guaranteed money given: $70.11 million
Stability on defense: The only defensive starter the Texans lost in free agency was Crick. Crick told reporters in Denver that his decision was down to the Texans and the Broncos. He opted to reunite with Gary Kubiak, Wade Phillips and Bill Kollar -- the head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach who drafted him. The Texans considered Crick to be a good depth piece but wanted to upgrade at the position, but it remains to be seen if they do that. The secondary returns mostly intact. The top trio of Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson and Kevin Johnson weren't going anywhere, but returning Demps, Pleasant, Bouye and James means nearly the whole group returns. As for the linebacker position, Simon was an important part of the Texans' depth outside with starters Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans took a few weeks to figure out the right way to use Mercilus and Clowney together. Once they figured that out it allowed them to get their two best outside linebackers on the field at the same time. Inside, they have Brian Cushing and Benardrick McKinney, but they could look to the future of the position in the draft. Stability on defense is a good thing for the Texans who ranked in the top five in yards allowed per game, opponent QBR and yards allowed per play.
Big changes on offense: In allowing Jones and Brooks to leave in free agency, the Texans showed they believed they needed big changes on offense. Their yards per play ranked 31st in the league at 4.94. The quarterback carousel, necessitated in part by the play of the quarterbacks, was a big part of it. To halt it, the Texans spent what it took to get Osweiler. The loss of Arian Foster without a real replacement was another part of it. To fix that, the Texans added Miller. They might have upgraded at guard with Allen over Brooks. There are still some pieces unaccounted for, notably at center and tight end, where they'd like to find a playmaker.
What's next?: Osweiler, his receivers and fellow quarterback Tom Savage worked out at Arizona State this week. In 10 days they'll finally get to work with coaches, something that will be particularly important for Osweiler, who has had to do it without his coaches' guidance so far.