We could be looking at one of the biggest free agency periods in recent memory if some of the notable names actually hit the open market. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Derrick Henry are just a few of the big names set to hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year opens on March 18th. One or more stands a good chance of signing a contract with their current team before then, but there is a chance one or more is taking calls when the tampering period opens on March 16th.
2019 in review
Carlos Hyde eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career during his first season with the Houston Texans. He tallied a career high 245 carries and converted those into 1,070 rushing yards and six scores. Houston barely gave up anything for Hyde and needed more running back depth after Lamar Miller tore his ACL in the preseason. The 29-year old exceeded expectations and unexpectedly put together one of his most impressive campaigns to date.
Hyde has flirted with 1,000-yard seasons in the past, but hasn’t been very consistent over the course of his career. He was barely a factor with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018 when he averaged 3.3 yards per carry. It’s hard to say when he’ll regress again and experience a down year. Because of that, it’s hard to gauge what his value is.
Hyde has been likened to Frank Gore in recent years because of his ability to resurrect a seemingly dead career (albeit at the end of Gore’s college career), so why not replace him with the Buffalo Bills? Devin Singletary is the clear starter, but Buffalo is a playoff team that could use more depth, as Gore fell of the face of the Earth toward the end of last season. Hyde could strengthen a team that was top 10 in rushing yards last season without having to be a primary option.
Do the Texans want to keep him?
Hyde has made it clear that he’d like to return to the Texans in 2020, but Houston hasn’t given any indication that the feeling is mutual. The Texans acquired Duke Johnson from the Cleveland Browns last year and he has a ton of potential, while being under team control until 2022. Miller is a free agent as well and could be a candidate to re-sign with the team. Expect the Texans to explore their options before they decide to keep Hyde.
Despite his 1,000-yard season and six touchdowns, Hyde was in the back half of the league when it came to starting running backs. Unlike many of the backs ahead of him, he provides almost zero value as a receiver out of the backfield. He hasn’t reached 50 receiving yards in a year for the last three seasons. I don’t see that changing for him at this point in his career, and he’s not dependable enough to count on for the same rushing numbers. If he is a feature back again in 2020, he should be somewhere between 20th and 30th in fantasy points.
The rumor mill is quiet when it comes to Hyde. It’s unclear where he stands with Houston and other teams around the league. His destination might not be decided until after the major pieces begin to move.