The Houston Texans have a lot to look forward to this offseason as General Manager Nick Caserio heads into Year 2.
In one year, the Texans have improved their cap space and regained draft capital under Caserio.
"I'd say cap-wise we're in a little bit better situation than we were kind of the start of last offseason," Caserio said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I think we're honestly middle of the league right now. That's before we do anything. You can create cap space in many different ways, so you want to have a manageable amount. I'd say your cap situation is also going to dictate the pool of players that you're going to maybe have an opportunity to add to your roster during free agency, but I'd say philosophically our belief is the value of the player commensurate with the role, and you try to match those up."
Last year, Caserio took over a roster with little cap space and not much draft capital. The Texans were without a first and second-round draft pick, as part of a 2019 trade package with Miami for Laremy Tunsil.
Without draft picks and a lot of cap space, Caserio signed a record number of free agents last offseason. He continued the roster overhaul in training camp, executing 46 transactions in a one-month period.
"I love what he did with all the one-year contracts last year," NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms said. "Getting guys so he built a little bit of a nucleus, got to evaluate some guys to flip over the team and figure it out from there. I'm a huge Nick Caserio fan."
Heading into his second season as general manager, Caserio will not only have access to a larger pool of free agent players but also many more draft prospects as a result of having the No. 3 overall selection and more importantly, both first and second-round picks.
"I think the most important thing for us is to kind of know as many players as possible," Caserio said. "I'd say relative to last season we're in a little different position relative to eliminating call it 55, 60 players last year that we knew we weren't going to have access to. Now I'd say the pool of players is a little bit wider. Just trying to get as much information. I'd say the group that probably is most pressing are the underclassmen because this is really the first opportunity to spend extensively with them face-to-face. A lot of them weren't at an All-Star Game, so I'd say you're kind of in the infantile stages."
Houston currently holds four draft picks in the top 80 slots of this year's NFL Draft and nine picks total.