Good News: Just In Houston Texans Confirm THE Signing OF Another Fans Favorite Superstar

Though free agency is still ongoing, the NFL as a whole is turning its attention toward the draft. And signings keep happening despite the fact that movements are getting fewer and farther between. One of those happened on Monday with the addition of cornerback Myles Bryant to the Houston Texans roster.

Bryant has been in New England for the past four years, and he is currently back in Houston with Nick Caserio, the former director of player personnel for the Patriots. But how does this affect their previous team? Let’s examine it from a broad perspective.

The Patriots lose their 2023 most trusted cornerback…
The bunch kept playing fairly well, but in terms of player availability, New England’s cornerback room was a complete wreck the previous season. Myles Bryant, who played in all 17 games and topped the position group with 851 defensive snaps (74.8%), was one noteworthy exception, though.

Bryant was, in that regard, the most dependable cornerback for New England in 2023. He was the only constant, and not just that, while everything around him was constantly shifting.

In addition, Bryant may have played his finest football of the season. Despite the nearly continual turnover of players surrounding him, he shown enhanced awareness in coverage, communicated effectively, and was able to play several areas, which allowed for favorable matchups elsewhere. In addition, he led all cornerbacks in New England in caused fumbles (2), interceptions (1), and quarterback pressures (6).

…and a stand-in punt and kick returner
Marcus Jones and Ty Montgomery were the Patriots’ best alternatives as the season started, but neither was able to stay on the field for an extended period of time. After a run of subpar performances, Montgomery was dismissed in November, while Jones was lost for the season in Week 2.

AD Bryant was more involved running back punts than he was in the kickoff return game, where he only returned one kick for 11 yards. He started the game as the third option behind Jones and DeMario Douglas, but with 15 returns for 105 yards, he became the team’s top returner. In fact, he tied Jones’ season average of 7.0 yards per carryback.

Given that Douglas is still a factor in the game and the All-Pro is expected to recover from his shoulder injury, Bryant’s desire to return punts was never really necessary. Still, his exit eliminates one seasoned and consistently accessible level of complexity.

The necessity at cornerback is once again highlighted.
Playing cornerback has been Bryant’s primary focus since joining the organization, and his departure further demonstrates the underappreciated need the team has at the position. After all, the club has considerable skill right now, but there’s also a fair bit of unpredictability.

Right now, Christian Gonzalez leads the depth chart as the best outside option. The two other notional starters next to him are Jonathan Jones and the previously mentioned Marcus Jones; in this scenario, the former would line up outside opposite Gonzalez, while the latter would play in the slot. But there are grave concerns regarding the reasoning behind them.

Right now, Isaiah Bolden, Marco Wilson, Shaun Wade, Alex Austin, and Azizi Hearn are the only other cornerbacks with contracts. The team’s system has not shown any evidence of Austin, Wilson, Bolden, Hearn, or Wade, and they have all failed to produce results consistently enough thus far.

It would therefore not be shocking if the Patriots added more cornerback depth and possibly even starter-caliber alternatives, particularly outside opposite Gonzalez.

Bryant departs with a triumph narrative.
Over the past four years, Bryant has been the subject of criticism on a regular basis—and sometimes with good reason. Ultimately speaking, though, given his history, his time with the Patriots was successful.

AD
After signing with New England as an undrafted free agent in 2020, the former college walk-on became a starter at cornerback throughout the next four seasons, providing depth at safety and in the return game. The reality is that, despite his limitations and the sometimes detrimental effects they had on his play, Bryant was an important part of one of the NFL’s top secondaries since his arrival.

Even though he didn’t have the one memorable play (Malcolm Butler), the consistent football savvy (J.C. Jackson), or the postseason experience (Randall Gay), he may still be considered a success story in the Patriots’ development of UDFA cornerbacks.

Effectively, the departure won’t be taken into account when determining compensation.
The Patriots may take Bryant’s signing with the Texans into consideration when determining their compensatory draft pick in 2025. However, the signing won’t actually alter the odds in the team’s favor.

After all, New England currently has three more qualifying compensatory free agents signed than it has released. The Patriots would still be in the hole after two signings even if Bryant’s salary is big enough to qualify for CFA status (and that’s before even accounting for the contract of fellow defensive back Jaylinn Hawkins).

The Patriots are definitely out of the running to get additional picks in the draft the following year, given that the only unrestricted free agents they have left on the market are running back Ezekiel Elliott, offensive tackle Riley Reiff, and special teamer Cody Davis—the final two are likely to announce their retirement.

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