There's no doubt the Houston Texans are a rising NFL power. Behind first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans and rookie quarterback CJ Stroud last season, Houston established itself as a legitimate threat in the AFC just a year removed from going 3-13. The Texans' breakout campaign came to an end in the divisional round of the playoffs with a road loss to the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, but a 10-7 finish and blowout wild card victory over the Cleveland Browns nevertheless marked a wildly successful 2023.

How can Ryans, Stroud and company take the next step going forward? Adding one of the most talented running backs in football would certainly be a great start. Fortunately for Houston, more smoke has surfaced about Saquon Barkley joining the team in free agency.

The two-time Pro Bowler raised eyebrows across the NFL landscape recently by following Stroud and Texans teammates Nico Collins, Tank Dell and Brevin Jordan on Instagram, as noted by Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports. That development came on the heels of betting markets listing Houston as the favorite to sign Barkley on the open market.

Collins, Dell and Jordan are young fixtures for the Texans' offense alongside Stroud. They have an opening in the backfield, though, where leading rusher Devin Singletary is a free agent. Could Barkley take his place as Houston's top running back, splitting time next to Stroud with third-year rusher Dameon Pearce next season and beyond? As the start of free agency looms on March 13th, a marriage between Barkley and the Texans seems increasingly likely.