Brian Hoyer’s five turnovers during the Houston Texans’ 30-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Wild Card Round only solidified what Texans owner Bob McNair already knew.
Houston needs a franchise quarterback.
“I don’t think there’s any question,” McNair said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I’ve been saying that. The question is what’s available, and what’s the price? How many draft picks might you have to give up? You can’t undermine the rest of your team while you’re trying to get a quarterback.”
In 2015, Texans quarterbacks combined to throw 29 touchdown passes against just 12 interceptions, with a combined passer rating of 85.3. Hoyer threw 19 scores over 11 games and nine starts, and helped lead Houston to an AFC South title, but he was dreadful during the Texans’ home playoff loss. He tossed four interceptions, including one in the red zone, and also lost a fumble.
Hoyer, 30, is under contract through the 2016 season.
Three other quarterbacks made starts for Houston in 2015, but Ryan Mallett was cut during the season and both T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden will be free agents this spring. Former fourth-round pick Tom Savage is also on the roster.
Understanding the need for a quarterback is one thing. Finding the right one is another.
“This isn’t a department store where they have them on the shelf, and you just pick one up,” McNair said. “It’s a question of who’s available. We’re working on that. We think there are some good prospects out there.”
Potential free-agent quarterbacks include Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel, two Heisman Trophy winning players from schools in Texas. Both could be looking for fresh starts. Kirk Cousins, Sam Bradford and Brock Osweiler are currently scheduled to be unrestricted free agents.
The 2016 NFL draft is far more of an unknown. Houston has the No. 22 overall pick, which isn’t exactly the most envious position for drafting a franchise quarterback. Potential options may include Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg, but much will change between now and the actual draft.
One thing is for sure: The Texans need a franchise quarterback, and they know it. Evolving from good to great will require Houston to make the right choice at the game’s most important position during the 2016 offseason.