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Texans Won’t Franchise CB A.J. Bouye

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Texans are not expected to use the franchise tag on free agent CB A.J. Bouye before today’s deadline.

According to Schefter, this doesn’t mean the Texans won’t re-sign Bouye in the coming days, but he will not return under the tag.

This fits with a report from Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, who mentioned that the Texans were unlikely to tag Bouye. Wilson added that the Texans would “ideally” like to re-sign Bouye to a long-term extension. However, he’s likely to command somewhere between $12 million – $14 million per year on the open market.

Houston is projected to have around $25 million of cap space to work with this offseason and franchising Bouye would run them around $14 million fully guaranteed.

It’s worth mentioning that the Texans have some depth at cornerback in former first-round pick Kevin Johnson, Johnathan Joseph, and Kareem Jackson, so it’s possible they could allow Bouye to move on and use their cap space elsewhere before recouping a compensatory pick for him in 2018.

Bouye, 25, wound up signing on with the Texans as an undrafted free agent out of UCF back in 2013. He returned to the Texans on a one-year, $1.671 million restricted contract this past March and is now in position to be one of the most sought after players in next year’s market.

In 2016, Bouye has appeared 15 games and recorded 63 tackles, one sack, an interception and 16 pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 5 cornerback out of 115 qualifying players.

We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2017 Free Agents list.