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Texans reportedly won't sign anthem kneelers, team issues official statement

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With NFL free agency slated to begin on March 14 and the new salary cap officially being slotted at $177.2 million, teams now have to start formulating how best to use their cap space to improve their rosters.

Few minefields in the construction of an NFL roster are trickier to navigate than free agency. By definition, free agency is a bidding process and thus teams inevitably pay above market value for a player’s talents. To maximize value, teams have to ask themselves if a player fits not just from a football standpoint, but from a cultural and character standpoint.

The Houston Texans has had its culture and character prerequisites leaked, according to the Houston Chronicle.

According to the Chronicle, NFL agents believe that the Texans will not sign or draft anyone who has participated or is likely to participate in national anthem protests.

That could be a huge blow to prospective free agents, considering the copious $62 million in cap space the Texans have to spend, per Over The Cap.

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Free agents like safeties Eric Reid and Michael Thomas could’ve provided a boost to the Texans’ secondary and been paid handsomely for it, but both have been consistent anthem protesters.

The Chronicle did stress that there was no official mandate, but a general understanding that the Texans were refusing to acquire potential anthem protesters.

“There is no directive within the organization, but it is considered to be understood that as desperate as the Texans are to bring in talent, the pool of potential signees and draftees will not include anyone who has participated in protests or are likely to,” Jerome Solomon wrote for the Chronicle.

Coupled with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross emphatically stating that “(a)ll of our players will be standing” for the playing of the anthem before next season’s games, it seemed like the NFL was actually making a hard pivot toward eliminating anthem protests from the game.

Do you think every NFL team should enact a policy not to hire anthem protesters?

Only that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

As soon as the Chronicle story started circulating, the Texans responded to the report.

Texans public relations representative Amy Palcic released an official statement on Twitter condemning the Chronicle report. She called the reports “inaccurate” before sharing the actual statement.

“A recent report that suggests the Houston Texans would not sign a player who has protested in support of social justice issues is categorically false and without merit. The Texans ownership, coaching, personnel and executive staff sign and hire employees based on talent, character and fit within our organization,” the statement reads.

Interestingly, the statement’s reference to “character” and “fit” within the organization seem to leave the door ajar to not signing anthem protesters.

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Of note, the swift response from the Texans shouldn’t be a huge surprise.

The timing of the Chronicle’s report couldn’t be worse considering free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing collusion grievance against the league. Texans owner Bob McNair is one of the people being deposed in relation to resolving Kaepernick’s grievance.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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