The Houston Texans have been a very mediocre team lately, finishing with a 9-7 record in the past three seasons. However, thanks to being in a weak AFC South, the Texans were able to clinch back-to-back division titles in 2015 and 2016. Although winning the division and qualifying for the postseason is a notable accomplishment, the Texans are going to have to improve – especially on offense – if want to be seen as potential Super Bowl contenders in 2017.
While Houston has an obvious void to fill at the quarterback position, as the Brock Osweiler signing has blown up in their faces, it is far from their only need. Texans general manager Rick Smith and head coach Bill O’Brien know they need to find a player to help provide a spark for their rather sluggish offense and signing a big-time free agent such as tight end Martellus Bennett would be a good way to do that.
Bennett, who played both NCAA and high school football in Texas, is set to become a free agent on March 9 when the NFL’s new league year officially begins. He is coming off a career-best season, where he caught 55 passes for 701 yards and seven touchdowns with the New England Patriots, as his stellar play helped New England win Super Bowl LI. With all that being said, the Texans will need to pay top dollar for his services, as Bennett, who will turn 30 in March, is well aware this will most likely be his last chance to break the bank in free agency.
The Patriots are known for letting players walk in free agency if they demand a lofty salary, and with Rob Gronkowski set to return from injury next season, it doesn’t look like Bennett will be an exception to that rule. Houston, on the other hand, isn’t afraid to make big splashes in free agency, and they are in good shape financially to potentially pull off a deal with Marty B.
Although Bennett has undeniable talent, some questions pertaining to his attitude and character in the locker room may negatively affect his stock. But the Texans shouldn’t have a problem sorting out fact from fiction, as they have a reliable source in Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to tell them if those concerns are legitimate. Belichick and O’Brien have previously worked together in New England, meaning Belichick could provide O’Brien with more insight about what kind of person Bennett is and if he would be a good addition to the team or not. If O’Brien’s former boss has good things to say about Bennett, then Houston may heavily pursue him in the near future.