When the NFL's free agency period begins on Feb. 27, 18 Texans are scheduled to hit the market – six as restricted free agents and 12 as unrestricted – unless they sign with the Texans before that date. Two of the biggest names in the Texans' potential free agent pool are tight end Owen Daniels (restricted) and cornerback Dunta Robinson (unrestricted).
Feb. 26 is the deadline for the Texans to offer a tender to a restricted free agent. Any restricted free agent not receiving a tender will become an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 27 and would be free to sign with any team, including the Texans.
If a restricted free agent is offered a tender but does not sign with the Texans before Feb. 27, he remains a restricted free agent. The restricted tag gives a team one week to match a signed offer sheet sent from another team. If the Texans match another team's offer, the player will be obligated to sign with Houston.
If the Texans do not match another team's offer for a restricted free agent, the player would join that other team. At that point, the Texans would receive compensation in the form of a draft pick, the value of which would depend on the tender the Texans offered to that player.
Texans' Potential 2009 Free Agents (free agency begins Feb. 27):
|Restricted Free Agents|
|Unrestricted Free Agents|
The Texans have the 15th selection in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft in April. The exact order of the remaining rounds has not officially been released because of compensatory selections that have yet to be determined. Also, the final postseason finish affects the order of the draft picks.