Could the Texans upgrade at cornerback in 2021 free agency?

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Mark Lane
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The Houston Texans have decisions to make at cornerback.

They have a lockdown cornerback under contract with Bradley Roby, even though he is slated to miss Week 1 as he serves the sixth game of his six-game suspension from the 2020 season, a violation of the NFL’s performance enhancing drug policy.

Houston will have to decide what they want to do with cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves and Gareon Conley, whose contracts expired at the end of the season. Do the Texans want to bring them back, or do they want to go in another direction. Conley did not play a down for Houston as he struggled to rehabilitate from offseason ankle surgery, and Hargreaves collected 72 tackles, a tackle for loss, seven pass breakups, and an interception in 16 starts.

The Texans do have 2020 fourth-rounder John Reid from Penn State, but he may not be ready enough to start opposite of Roby for an entire season.

According to ESPN, the Texans ought to consider signing a cornerback when free agency begins, and Jeremy Fowler believes Dallas Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie would be a quality signing for Houston.

Houston needs help all over the depth chart — and a viable corner opposite Bradley Roby. Awuzie missed half the season due to injury but will have a market due to his speed, size and coverage skills. Also watch out for New Orleans, where Kris Richard, Awuzie’s coordinator in Dallas for two seasons, is joining the staff.

Awuzie produced 38 combined tackles, five pass breakups, an interception, and a fumble recovery in eight games, six of which he started for Dallas.

The former 2017 second-round pick from Colorado didn’t develop into the shutdown cornerback the Cowboys needed. However, he does have experience playing in the Tampa-2, which is what new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith looks to deploy as the Texans’ new scheme.