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A look back at Texans free agent signings

Posted Mar 10, 2014

Before the start of free agency, we look back at notable additions in the past five years of Texans franchise history.

The new NFL league year is set to begin Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT. With it, teams will start signing  free agents.

Here’s a look back at some of the Texans most notable pre-Draft free agent signings over the past five years.

2013
-Safety Ed Reed (Baltimore)
-Punter Shane Lechler (Oakland)
-Fullback Greg Jones (Jacksonville)

2012
-Linebacker Bradie James (Dallas)
-Punter Donnie Jones (St. Louis)

2011
-Cornerback Johnathan Joseph (Cincinnati)
-Safety Danieal Manning (Chicago)
-Fullback Lawrence Vickers
-Linebacker Tim Dobbins

2010
-Kicker Neil Rackers (Arizona)
-Guard Wade Smith (Kansas City)

2009
-Defensive end Antonio Smith (Arizona)
-Defensive tackle Shaun Cody (Detroit)
-Quarterback Dan Orlovsky (Detroit)
-Linebacker Cato June (Tampa Bay)

The Texans added their biggest impact free agents in franchise history in 2011. Being a lockout year, teams were allowed to re-sign their own free agents before the end of the 2010 league year, but could not sign any new players during the lockout period. Both Joseph and Manning, signed on July 29, 2011, were starters on Houston’s second-ranked defense that allowed just 285.7 yards per game and helped pave the way for the team’s first AFC South Championship and playoff berth.

This offseason, Antonio Smith, signed in 2009 after spending five seasons in Arizona, is once again an unrestricted free agent. Smith, who has started 78-of-79 games, registered 194 tackles, 27.0 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in his five seasons as a Texan.

For 2014, teams will have some additional salary cap space, designated at $133,000,000 per club. Teams must be in compliance with the salary cap at the start of free agency on March 11.

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