The Houston Texans are expected to sign former Jacksonville Jaguars nickel CB Aaron Colvin to a four-year deal, a move they surely hope can create a similar effect on them and the division champs as losing A.J. Bouye in free agency a year ago.
Colvin, an underrated 26-year-old cover guy with 24 combined starts over the past three seasons, likely will cover the slot in Houston, where the NFL's worst pass 'D' disintegrated following the departure of Bouye and injuries to J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. Colvin brings some versatility, though, to also potentially line up outside and be a factor as a blitzer and run-support corner.
Colvin doesn't come without risk — he was suspended the first four games of the 2016 season for a performance-enhancing drug violation and missed additional time that year with an ankle injury — but so did Jacksonville's acquisition of Bouye, the former undrafted rookie who had only one year of major production prior to securing $26 million guaranteed from the Jaguars.
To be clear: Colvin isn't in the same class as Bouye, and the newest Texan's compensation surely will reflect that fact. But it's hard to ignore the parallel with these two teams and their rivalry-crossing corners.
The Texans have also expressed interest in free agent Malcolm Butler — this offseason and last, when he was still restricted and only available via trade — and E.J. Gaines. With starting CB1 Johnathan Joseph also a free agent at the age of 34, Houston might not be done attacking its secondary. Especially given the fact they have no draft picks in Rounds 1-2 and some serious star power returning from injury with a chance to spearhead a quick turnaround from 4-12 and last place in the division for the AFC South champs in 2015-16.
The Jaguars, with a lot of their resources tied up in the NFL's best CB duo, always seemed unlikely to lose Colvin. It remains to be seen how they'll replace him, but having perimeter studs like Bouye and Jalen Ramsey and blistering speed at linebacker likely lessens this concern a little.