Making The Grade: Wide Receivers
Now that the Super Bowl is over and the NFL is into the offseason, we’re taking a position-by-position look at the Texans. We’ve already looked at the secondary, tight ends, O-line, special teams, running backs, coaches, defensive line, quarterbacks, linebackers and Connor Barwin. Now, we’ll take a look at wide receivers.
Stud: Andre Johnson
They said he was done. They said he lost a step. Then he proved everyone wrong.
Johnson didn’t just have a good 2012, he nearly returned to Pro Bowl level and had one of the best seasons in his illustrious career.
In 2012, Johnson caught 112 passes for 1,598 yard (career high) and four touchdowns. He caught 50 more passes for 882 more yards than Owen Daniels, who was the Texans’ next best receiver as a tight end.
His 2012 season earned Johnson a sixth Pro Bowl nod. He became the third player in NFL history to surpass 1,500 yards three or more times in his career. The other two are Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison.
Johnson’s biggest game of 2012 came on Nov. 18, when he caught 14 passes for 273 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown score to win the game in overtime.
Dud: Kevin Walter
Walter is paid like a No. 2 receiver but he didn’t look like one in 2012. He caught 41 passes for 518 yards and two touchdowns.
He hasn’t had more than 800 yards receiving in a season since 2008. In 2007 and 2008, he had at least 60 catches and 800 yards.
Toward the end of 2012, Walter saw his targets and snaps drop. Rookie DeVier Posey began to earn more playing time, which took away from Walter’s
Free agents: None
Look ahead: This is one of the biggest areas of need for the Texans this offseason. After Johnson, there’s a huge dropoff.
Walter is OK but he’s not a No. 2 option and certainly isn’t worth his $4.5 million cap hit in 2013 and 2014. The Texans could cut Walter to save that money but that would leave their WR corps really thin, especially with Posey recovering from an Achilles injury.
So how do the Texans improve their wide receiving group? Well, they could pick someone up in free agency but that might cost too much money. Money is something they don’t have much of.
Maybe he's already on the roster but Lestar Jean and Keshawn Martin haven't really shown much yet.
Or, and probably more likely, they can look toward the draft (again) and hope to find the right guy to line up opposite of Johnson.