A Green Bay Packer for eight straight years, offensive guard Josh Sitton decided in 2016 to move on from the Cheeseheads and sign with their rival: the Chicago Bears. In Chicago, Sitton continued to thrive and was ranked the fifth best guard in all of football in 2017.
Coming off this tremendous season, Sitton will be hitting free agency before his age 32 season, and one team that has already been mentioned as a suitor for Sitton is the Houston Texans. The Texans offensive line was the worst in football last year, so signing Sitton would be a major boost towards their playoff chances.
— NFL (@NFL) February 21, 2018
By far and away the largest weakness for the Houston Texans during the 2017 season was their offensive line. Every player on the offensive line was the worst, or one of the worst, at their position. Their 252 pressures allowed to the quarterback was the second largest total over the past 12 seasons, which put star quarterback Deshaun Watson at an exponentially higher risk of injury. Thus, it is now imperative that the Texans sign players like Sitton in free agency to ensure Watson’s health.
Sitton is an elite offensive lineman who could be a tremendous help to the Texans, but I personally think there is some risk involved in signing him. Despite being very durable throughout his ten year career, Sitton is about to turn 32 and thus on the wrong side of 30.
Oftentimes the decline of a player like Sitton can be quick, not gradual, and thus makes him a big risk for the Texans to sign. And the last thing the Texans need right now is an overpaid veteran.
Because of this, I believe it would be a smarter decision to sign someone like Andrew Norwell. Norwell was the third best guard in football, two slots ahead of Sitton, and is far younger at 26 years old. Whereas Sitton would probably only be an efficient player for one or two more seasons, Norwell could be a mainstay in the Texans offensive line for many years to come.
An added bonus to Andrew Norwell is that he’s ranked as the best pass blocking guard in the NFL, while Sitton is ranked eleventh. Although eleventh is still an amazing ranking, Norwell’s superior pass blocking would significantly lower the Texans’ league-high 252 pressures, and hopefully help Deshaun Watson stay healthy.
If Texans general manager Brian Gaine decides to sign Sitton, he would be a great guard who could help Deshaun Watson as he matures into a superstar, and Texans fans at least know that if his signing goes sideways, at least you still can’t get any worse than Xavier Su’a-Filo and Jeff Allen.