Texans Study NFL Expansion Pool
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HOUSTON (AP) _ The Houston Texans got their first look Friday at a shopping list of 135 players left unprotected for the Feb. 18 expansion draft. And as expected, the other teams didn’t do the NFL’s 32nd franchise any favors.
Sure, the Texans would love to have three-time All-Pro left tackle Tony Boselli of Jacksonville or seven-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Willie Roaf of New Orleans.
But as general manager Charley Casserly and coach Dom Capers discovered, the list was filled with high-priced veterans who carry huge salary cap implications.
``When you initially see the list, it’s exciting,″ Capers said. ``Then you go through the list and you start to project, will he be there in three or four years? Does he fit the master plan?
``Then, you start to look at it a little different. Fans will read a lot of the names on the list but there are a lot of things that go into this.″
Starting cornerbacks Aaron Glenn and Marcus Coleman were left unprotected by the New York Jets and Baltimore exposed linebacker Jamie Sharper and return specialist Jermaine Lewis.
What Casserly and Capers must decide is how many players from the expansion draft, free agents and the April 20-21 college draft can fit into their salary cap for the upcoming season.
``We’re excited, yeah,″ Casserly said. ``Then you start to read their contracts and look at the medical lists and how they project into the future. Then, you have to ask yourself if you want to pay that contract.″
Boselli, a seven-year veteran, has been one of the league’s best offensive linemen, but he missed most of the 2001 season following operations on both shoulders.
The Texans would love Boselli protecting the quarterback prospect they choose. But Boselli also will come with a high cap price of $6.5 million to $7 million for next season.
Casserly confirmed Boselli would be in Houston next week to take a physical but declined to further discuss the Jaguars lineman or any other player on the unprotected list.
``He’d be hard to pass up, but until we know the full picture about his health, it would be premature to comment,″ Casserly said.
The NFL gave the Texans a list of five players from each of the 27 teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs. They also sent along plenty of information for the Texans to consume.
``We got nine boxes from the NFL, seven with medical records and two with contracts,″ Casserly said. ``We’ve got a lot of work to do.″
Casserly and owner Bob McNair have just returned from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., where they carefully watched the workouts of Fresno State quarterback David Carr, a sure first-round pick.
Glenn had a good season with the Jets last season, but he will be 30 in June and he is in the final year of a five-year, $19.4 million contract with a cap hit that could exceed $7 million.
Glenn, a former Texas A&M player from nearby Humble, was excited about the possibilities.
``I think it’s a blessing in disguise,″ Glenn told KRIV-TV of Houston. ``It would be an opportunity for my parents to see my play. We don’t know what’s going to happen but hopefully I’ll get a chance to play at home.″
Capers helped start up the Carolina Panthers in 1995. The Panthers won quickly with veterans but faded in their third year. Capers insists the Texans will take a slower approach.
``I’ve learned from experience that the biggest thing is patience,″ Capers said. ``We could put together a team that could be 9-7 quicker than if we build for what everyone wants, a Super Bowl.
``A lot of people get off track and cave in to the pressure and got for the quick fix.″