Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 4/5/12
Texans owner Bob McNair said the combination of salary cap limitations as well as a plan to retain several key players in the future explains most of the club's moves this season, including the shedding of a couple of established veterans. Beyond losing Mario Williams to the Buffalo Bills, the Texans traded linebacker DeMeco Ryans and cut tackle Eric Winston. Guard Mike Brisiel signed with the Raiders. "We were making moves now that put us in the position to be able to go ahead and re-sign Connor Barwin, Duane Brown and Matt Schaub for next year," McNair said. "If we didn't take that action now, the same kind of problems we had this year we would be facing next year. It was just part of our overall plan to make the moves that we did and it worked out pretty much the way we expected." McNair said as painful as the decisions were to let go of Winston and Ryans, it came down to the math of the salary cap and alleviating future cap issues. "The question is, do we go ahead and get this in order so that we can sign players next year or do we just kick the can down the road?" said McNair. "I don't believe in kicking the can down the road. "In the case of Eric, we had two tackles that can back him up. (Rashad) Butler... we know he can play and we think (Derek) Newton is going to come along. At linebacker, we got (Daryl) Sharpton coming along. He was playing well last year before he got hurt." McNair said he understands that some fans may have been stunned by the release of Winston and the trade of Ryans, but the club had to make those calls to avoid perpetual cap limitations. "(Fans) don't have the benefit of the depth of knowledge that we have as to what's going on with the team and what we need to do to remain a strong, competitive team" McNair said. "We're taking steps that allow us to be competitive long into the future." McNair also said that the team is still considering free agents which remain on the market. But the Texans simply couldn't afford to retain all of their high-salaried players. "There's a limit as to how many of those players you can afford to have without damaging your team," he said. "I want us to be a Super Bowl contender every year. That's why we have a plan. McNair also confirmed what many believed in terms of the Texans' draft needs: "We know we need more help at wide receiver and we'd like to have more speed on the other side of Andre. And we'd like to have another pass rusher since we lost Mario." The Texans will also look to add offensive linemen and defensive backs. But in clarifying the thought process behind the offseason moves, McNair persistent point was that the team had to make decisions now to help secure the next offseason. "You never want to lose good players but that's going to happen to us every year," said McNair. "You can't pay eight or ten players 10 million per year on each side of the ball. New England let (Richard) Seymour go and Seymour's made the Pro Bowl the last two years. I think that's the way it's going to be going forward in the NFL and every other team is going to face the same situation." McNair added that he will discuss contract extensions for coach Gary Kubiak and General Manager Rick Smith after the draft but he's happy with job performance of both.
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