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2024 NFL free agency: Texans’ Denico Autry dubbed as an underrated signing

The Houston Texans signed the second-most free agents this offseason and earned praise for their active spending spree. On the first day of the legal tampering period, Houston signed pass rusher Denico Autry. 

Dan Pizzuta of the 33rd Team tabbed Autry as one of the most underrated signings. Autry’s deal is two years worth $20 million with $10 million guaranteed. 

Houston persuaded Autry to leave division rival Tennessee to pair up with Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. General manager Nick Caserio wasn’t done and also added star pass rusher Danielle Hunter to the fray.

Following the blueprint of the San Francisco 49ers, Caserio and head coach DeMeco Ryans intend to build one of the league’s best pass-rushing units. Autry is one of the league’s most consistent players, and he’s had at least 10 quarterback hits in the past seven seasons.

Despite creeping towards his mid-thirties — he turns 34 in July — Autry’s produced his best three seasons in the past three years. In three seasons with the Titans, Autry had 28.5 sacks, 30 tackles for loss and 54 quarterback hits, which are among the top-25 in the league over that period of time.

Autry is a bigger edge rusher at 285 pounds, making him an intriguing piece for Ryans. He can wreck guards on stunts and handle his own when lined up inside. On passing downs, Houston can deploy Anderson, Autry and Hunter.

Houston made several moves along the defensive line. They added multiple rotational pass rushers to keep players fresh throughout games. Autry averaged 67% of defensive snaps this past season. Anderson led the Texans last season at 67%.

The only concern for Autry is his age. Can he sustain his level of play at 34 years old? Houston has a potential out in the contract after this season, essentially making the deal a one-year, $11 million. In that scenario, Houston would have a $3 million dead cap in 2025. 

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire