Tag Archives: houston texans expansion draft

Sharper, Jamie

ud02tex sharperCard: Upper Deck Houston Texans 2002
Acquired: IP 9/1/2013, Houston Texans Kemah Boardwalk Kickoff
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Home
See Also: Texans Ambassadors

After carving a great stint out at UVA and helping the team to an ACC title in 1995, the Baltimore Ravens selected Jamie Sharper with the 34th pick of the 2nd round in the 1997 NFL draft. An unsung, integral part to the Ravens 2000 title run Jamie’s defining moment with the franchise came in Super Bowl XXXV against the Giants (and former Virginia teammate Tiki Barber) when the historic Baltimore defense held New York without an offensive touchdown in the 35-7 rout.

In 2002, the Houston Texans were conducting their expansion draft from a pool of NFL veterans. Facing salary cap issues, the Ravens left Sharper exposed. In the weeks running up to the special draft for my newly adopted team, I had paid special attention to the list and pegged Sharper as the highest rated player available.  The Texans selected him with their 5th pick, and along with fellow teammate Jermaine Lewis, he joined the fledgling franchise.

Sharper fit well in the Texans’ 3-4 base alignment brought in by head coach Dom Capers. Slotted inside at RILB, Jamie was one of the better linebackers in the league, manhandling ball carriers and marauding for the occasional fumble. He’d help anchor the linebacking corps for the Texans for the next 3 seasons. Defensively the Texans were actually pretty good, but because the offense was so bad along the exterior of the line and quarterback David Carr was pressed into immediate duty, the team had few high points after surprising the Dallas Cowboys in their first regular season game 19-10. In 2003, Jamie led the NFL with a whopping 301 combined tackles, but in the meantime though, and after 3 seasons, most of the expansion players’ contracts matured like a ticking time bomb.  The Texans were pressed into immediate Salary Cap action. Purging nearly all the players from the expansion draft, the thought from the team was by going younger and faster at linebacker, they could also go cheaper and still remain competitive. I was blindsided and incensed. Jamie was given the option of seeking a trade, but because of his larger salary cap number, he eventually was cut and signed with the Seattle Seahawks. The Texans in the meantime were not competitive. They finished a dismal 2-14 and owner Bob McNair wisely cleaned house after the 2005 season. It was a blessing in disguise for Jamie.  In his final season in the NFL, he was a member of the Seahawks first Super Bowl appearance, but a knee injury ended his season after 136 straight NFL starts, and unfortunately his career.

sharperI had written Jamie back in 2010, but did not hear back from him. The Texans have an extremely active alumni association of local former players, (much to the organization’s credit,) that reaches out to fans throughout the year. Missing out on a few Academy appearances, since I just couldn’t justify driving 200+ miles for one autograph, I decided to go to the Texans 2013 Kickoff at Kemah- which is a team rally to get fans excited for the upcoming season. Knowing that 3 players were to make an appearance, I packed all my ambassador cards, and lucked out with Jamie. After surviving a blistering 3 hour wait in 100+ degree and 100% humidity, while fighting off a pack of line cutters, I eventually was able to get Jamie on this 2002 expansion franchise card from Upper Deck. He was also very impressed by my Jamie Sharper jersey (yes I am probably the only person who owns one) that I was wearing and offered to sign it, but I told him no, since I like to wear it and probably needed to wash it after waiting so long in the heat. (I think he was a bit disappointed though, so I may retire it with an autograph the next time, if I see him again.) When I asked him which ball carrier he hated or feared the most to tackle, he took a second to respond and told me, “Definitely Barry Sanders.”

G/Gs  136/135    Tac           Sac  25.5       Fum  13        Int   2      Yds  49     Avg    24.5     Td 0    Lg 45

Payne, Seth

udxl02 payneCards: Upper Deck 2002 XL, Scoreboard 1997, Upper Deck Houston Texans 2002
Acquired: In Person 5/19, 610 Houston Fan Fest 2013

Seth Payne has always been a model player and leader where ever he went, from his days at Cornell and on into the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars and later the Houston Texans.

At Cornell, Seth received All-Ivy League 1st or 2nd team honors from 1994-1996. His 19 career sacks from the defensive end position, set the school record. He finished his career at the school with 34 games played, 182 tackles, 25 tackles for losses, 19 sacks, and 1 forced fumble and recovery. Coming from a small school, probably worked against Payne, but his 6-4 , 290 frame bode well for him to transition from end to tackle in the NFL. The Jacksonville Jaguars made Seth their 4th round pick of the 1997 draft where he made the transition slowly into the starting lineup. By 1999 though, Payne was a fulltime starter. He played through the 2001 season with the Jaguars recording his best season that udhou02 payneyear with 5 sacks and 55 tackles.

At this point the Jaguars were in salary cap hell, so to get out of it, they arranged with the expansion Houston Texans a deal- take Tony Boselli with the first pick, and the Jaguars would
make Seth Payne and Gary Walker available for the Texans to grab as well. This would help alleviate some of the Jaguars cap purgatory. Former Jaguars defensive coordinator (1999-2000) Dom Capers and Texans head coach, jumped at the offer.

Seth was moved to nose tackle in 2002. He recorded a career high 65 tackles and the Texans first safety in the team’s first game against the Dallas Cowboys.  After injury claimed his 2003 campaign, Payne returned to form in 2004 with 2 sacks and 51 tackles. In 2005, he hustled his way to 4 sacks and 59 tackles, but injuries claimed the majority of his 2006 season, and while Seth survived the initial change over from Capers to new head coach Gary Kubiak, he’d be cut in early 2007. Payne at the time of his departure was the longest tenured member of the defense and the sbd97 paynelast member of the Texans initial expansion draft to be cut. Although the Jaguars resigned him later on, Seth was cut in training camp before the next regular season.

Seth at this time has joined the Houston Sports Radio 610 team. At Fan Fest this year, he signed these three cards for me, even remarking that the (hideous) Scoreboard college card of him, was actually a photo from his junior season when he was mobbing Columbia tailback ( and future NFL defensive end) Marcellus Wiley. Wiley was a short yardage back at the time, and clocked in generously at 6-4, 275, so when he and Payne collided, it provided fans quite the show.

G/Gs 121/98    Tac 333     Sac 17.5       Fum 3
Int 0      Yds 0     Avg -.-     Td 0     Lg -.-