MONDAY, 12:14pm: Manning took a physical with the Texans and officially signed today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).
SUNDAY, 4:00pm: The Texans are expected to sign free agent safety Danieal Manning, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, who reports (via Twitter) that a deal is in place, pending a physical. Manning was released by the Bengals as part of their cutdown from 75 players to 53, but didn’t have to pass through waivers because he’s a vested veteran.
Barring any complications, Manning, 32, will rejoin the team with whom he has spent the last three years. The veteran safety saw his 2013 season cut short when he fractured his fibula in October, forcing him out of action for the year’s final 10 games. Prior to ’13, he had started 45 regular season games in the previous three seasons for the Texans and Bears.
Manning recorded a positive overall grade during that stretch, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), though PFF’s advanced metrics suggested his play was declining from season to season — he posted a +11.8 grade in 2010, followed by +3.1 in 2011, and -4.2 in 2012. Still, Manning’s traditional numbers were strong even in his most recent full season (2012), when he logged 77 tackles, recovered three fumbles, and grabbed a pair of interceptions, including one for a touchdown.
In Houston, Manning will join a group of safeties that includes Kendrick Lewis, D.J. Swearinger, and Shiloh Keo. One veteran who is no longer part of that group is Chris Clemons, whom the team cut earlier today.