Miami Dolphins Free Agency Watch: Chris Houston

USA TODAY Sports

Every week I will be taking a sneak peak into some of the more realistic options hitting the free agency market this offseason. These will be high impact players that should come in and fill some much-needed holes on the current Dolphins roster.

With free agency just around the corner, let's take a look at a player that can significantly upgrade our secondary. That guy is Chris Houston. At 28 years old, Chris Houston has spent six years in the NFL; three years with the Atlanta Falcons and three years with the Detroit Lions. Over the past couple of years, he has quietly become one of the most consistent corners in the NFL. While he won't wow you with flashy plays, he is a solid corner that will be able to start day one, and is a significant upgrade over what Miami currently have on their roster.

Strengths

Pro Football Focus ranks Chris Houston as the second best cornerback on the free agent market, after Brent Grimes. That's no mean feat considering the cornerback position is absolutely stocked this year in free agency. Pro Football Focus had this to say about him:

Last year he was targeted 94 times, allowing 53 catches but for only 11.9 yards per reception. He is a fundamentally sound corner who is rarely beaten badly and will make receivers work for every yard, which given the rest of this class is in and of itself an impressive trait.

To add to the above, Chris Houston gave up only three touchdowns last year when quarterbacks threw the football his way. I find that to be a real impressive stat.

As a person, Chris Houston certainly fits the mould of a Philbin-type guy. He works very hard in training and is a great locker room presence. In fact, he has gone out of his way to teach the younger players a thing or two.

Weaknesses

Only two interceptions. While Houston set a career high five interceptions in 2011, prior to that he never had more than two interceptions a season since he entered the NFL. Having said that, Houston has had his fair share of pass deflections and forced fumbles throughout his career.

Furthermore, Pro Football Focus had this to say about the player:

Houston's biggest negative is that he has a fairly concrete ceiling, and will never be confused for Darrelle Revis. There aren't many corners in the league that are clearly better than he is, and some teams will prefer the reliable nature of his play than the all-or-nothing nature of some others.

What he says

"I want to do what's best for my family. Test the market would be a good position and staying here would be a good position, too. But I just want to do what's best at the time."

What they say

"Corners are tough to find in the NFL. Chris started off the season hurt. He had an ankle sprain coming into the regular season and missed the first couple of games. You realize how much you miss a guy when a guy's not out on the field"

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz

Overall, Chris Houston is a solid cornerback who will provide an immediate upgrade to our secondary. He's a solid player who rarely makes mistakes, and is a great presence in the locker room. Word on the street is that the Detroit Lions are still very keen on working out a deal with the player. However, should a deal not be reached, the Dolphins will be one of many teams to show an interest.

So what do you think? Would you like to see Chris Houston in a Dolphins uniform?

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