A look at the Texans' roster through the salary cap

Deshaun Watson's rookie contract gives the Texans some cap flexibility for the next couple of seasons. Jeff Halstead/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

The Houston Texans had nearly $68 million of cap space entering free agency and had quite a few holes to fill on the roster. They've made some moves in free agency and are largely done adding in through free agency, other than perhaps some depth moves.

As the draft nears, here's a look at the Texans' roster, by position, and where the team is spending its money. Houston has $31,964,883 left in cap space, according to ESPN Stats & Information.


Total cap hit at the position: $4,573,746

Biggest hit: Deshaun Watson -- $3,148,746

What the additions cost: $720,000 (Brandon Weeden). This number is not updated with newly-signed quarterback Joe Webb, but his salary will not change this number significantly.

What this means: The Texans have a few years to spend money before they have to pay Watson. Right now, the quarterbacks take up just 2.75 percent of the Texans' total cap space. Compare that to teams who have recently signed quarterbacks to big deals (Seattle -- 31.86 percent, Detroit -- 28.72 percent, San Francisco -- 31.42 percent) and it's easy to see what a bargain Watson is right now and the advantage it gives Houston.

Running back

Total cap hit: $10,250,263

Biggest hit: Lamar Miller -- $6,750,000

What the additions cost: $0

What this means: Miller is relatively expensive for a running back -- his cap hit is the fifth-highest in the NFL at the position -- but he's balanced out by a cheap D'Onta Foreman, who was a third-round pick in 2017. Head coach Bill O’Brien said at the owners meetings that he expects to use Miller and Foreman as a committee next season. Houston could have cut Miller to save money, but with all the money the team already has and Foreman returning from a torn Achilles, it makes sense to keep him despite his high cap hit.

Wide receiver

Total cap hit: $21,144,361

Biggest hit: DeAndre Hopkins -- $14,000,000

What the additions cost: $730,000 (Sammie Coates)

What this means: Hopkins' $14 million cap hit is obviously a huge portion of the Texans' offense, but he is an elite talent. The Texans hope their corps of young receivers, including Will Fuller V and Braxton Miller, can stay healthy and give Watson even more options.

Tight end

Total cap hit: $4,210,418

Biggest hit: Ryan Griffin ($2,468,750)

What the additions cost: $0

What this means: After tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz retired last month due to concussions, the Texans saved some money at the position. Houston hasn't added another tight end in free agency but could do so through the draft.

Offensive line

Total cap hit: $31,878,174

Biggest hit: Jeff Allen -- $7,375,000

What the additions cost: $14,300,000 (Zach Fulton -- $7,000,000; Senio Kelemete -- $4,000,000; Seantrel Henderson -- $3,300,000)

What this means: This number went up in a big way this offseason as general manager Brian Gaine attempted to fix one of the NFL's worst offensive lines. The Texans didn't spend the big money on left tackle Nate Solder -- who signed a four-year, $62 million deal with the New York Giants -- or guard Andrew Norwell, who signed a five-year, $66.5 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but still added three new linemen. Allen, the Texans' biggest hit on the offensive line, is in danger of losing his job and will compete with Kelemete to start at right guard.

Defensive end

Total cap hit: $19,096,246

Biggest hit: J.J. Watt -- $15,000,000

What the additions cost: $0

What this means: The Texans balance out Watt's $15 million cap hit by having just one other defensive end who makes more than $1 million.

Defensive tackle

Total cap hit: $2,831,466

Biggest hit: Brandon Dunn -- $790,000

What the additions cost: $0

What this means: Houston hasn't spent much at defensive tackle because it is spending a lot of money elsewhere on defense. Dunn and Christian Covington both make more the starter D.J. Reader, who is entering his third season.


Total cap hit: $27,264,943

Biggest hit: Jadeveon Clowney -- $13,846,000

What the additions cost: $0

What this means: Clowney has a relatively large cap hit now, but this number will go up even more once the 2014 No. 1 pick gets a rich extension either this offseason or next. When Clowney signs a new contract, he could make $20 million or more per year. If it's with the Texans, the team will need to figure out how to balance that salary.


Total cap hit: $28,447,539

Biggest hit: Kareem Jackson -- $9,000,000

What the additions cost: $7,750,000 (Aaron Colvin)

What this means: By re-signing Johnathan Joseph and adding Colvin, the Texans are likely set with additions at cornerback. Former first-round pick Kevin Johnson is still on the roster but could see significantly less playing time with the addition of Colvin.


Total cap hit: $13,332,337

Biggest hit: Tyrann Mathieu -- $7,000,000

What the additions cost: $7,000,000 (Mathieu)

What this means: Houston needed to upgrade its secondary this offseason, and they did that by signing Mathieu to a one-year deal after he was cut by the Arizona Cardinals just before the start of the new league year. Mathieu is a playmaker all over the field but will begin by starting alongside free safety Andre Hal, who the Texans signed to a long-term extension last year.

Special teams

Total cap hit: $3,522,500

Biggest hit: Shane Lechler -- $2,000,000

What the additions cost: $0

What this means: The Texans may add a kicker to compete against Ka'imi Fairbairn in training camp, but Lechler and Jon Weeks are expected to start in 2018.

Dead money

The Texans have $3,756,695 of dead money in 2018 for players no longer on the team. That includes Fiedorowicz ($2,200,000), linebacker Brian Cushing ($1,200,000), wide receiver Jaelen Strong ($192,996) and safety K.J. Dillon ($117,468).