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D.J. Reader ‘may be too expensive’ to re-sign with Houston Texans

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It’s starting to look like the premier nose tackle will hit free agency.

Buffalo Bills v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

As we enter the final week before NFL free agency kicks off, now is the time were many premature free agent hopes are lost. By now, fans have already curated their wish lists, but up against the clock, several teams will soon end up re-signing or franchising some of the best talent before they even end up hitting the market.

However, that may not be true of at least one of the best players 2020 free agency has to offer. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle believes defensive tackle D.J. Reader may be too rich for the Texans’ blood.

“He may be too expensive for the Texans to retain and is expected to command an annual compensation of $11 million to $13 million,” Wilson wrote.

At age 25, Reader could be more than worth the investment for the Detroit Lions. We know they value the position, as evidenced by the one-year, $11 million extension they handed Damon Harrison last August, and with Harrison now gone, they’d likely be willing to spend that much again. And that investment would be more worthwhile on a player like Reader, who has several seasons in his prime ahead of him. Detroit also has plenty of cap space, with around $47 million in room—putting them right around the middle of the league.

Reader is coming off his best season, totalling 52 tackles, and 2.5 sacks in 2019. He earned himself an impressive 86.7 PFF grade (fifth among DTs), a run defense grade of 83.3 (fifth) and also managed to impress with 35 quarterback pressures logged (21st).

In the same article, Wilson listed three teams that may be interested in Reader. The Lions were not one of them.

“The Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills are among the teams interested in Reader, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly,” per Wilson.

The Lions have a clear need at nose tackle, and Reader seems like no-brainer target for them. But as of now, all is quiet from the Detroit camp (as usual).