According to Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback, the Houston Texans defense "allowed a league-high 4,499 yards passing last year" and a "ridiculous 8.22 yards per pass attempt." Comparatively speaking, the Bengals passing defense has only allowed one 4,000-yard season in the past ten years. King continues:
Glover Quin and Kareem Jackson, the nominal starting corners, have five interceptions in 44 career games between them. The interception is a shaky and fairly meaningless stat, but suffice it to say that neither Quin nor Jackson is a shutdown corner. The Texans allowed foes to complete 64.7 percent of their throws last year, four percentage points worse than the secondary-challenged Browns.
Needless to say the Texans seem appear like candidates for free agent cornerbacks this offseason. And according to the Houston Chronicles' John McClain, Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph could be the top free agent cornerback for Houston.
"Leading candidates, I think, would be Joseph, Marshall, Rogers, Taylor and Asomugha."
If Joseph becomes the topic of a wage war between teams, you can be assured that Cincinnati will fall back on Leon Hall and a combination of Adam Jones or Morgan Trent in 2011, allowing Joseph to leave. We're not exactly sure if the Bengals should even get into a wage war for Joseph, who has missed 13 games in his five-year career mostly due to injuries. However since the Bengals are so proud of their track record by signing key players in the past, we're fairly certain that's exactly what won't happen when it's all said and done.
Oh, before we go. Let's recite the template talking points on free agency conversation. Since the owner's lockout remains in place, players can't sign contracts until the new league year begins. Additionally, if the league rules reverts back to pre-cap rules, Joseph will be an unrestricted free agent and not a restricted free agent as he would be under the 2010 league rules.