Although Derek Stingley Jr. will be the biggest name the Texans deploy at cornerback next season, the rebuilding team will rely on a few experienced veterans at the position. Another agreed to join the the Texans on Tuesday.
Former Washington and Atlanta corner Fabian Moreau agreed to terms with Houston, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. He will join Steven Nelson as veteran corners to have committed to the Texans this offseason.
A Washington third-round draftee in 2017, Moreau played out his rookie contract in D.C. and caught on with the Falcons in March of last year. He fetched just a one-year deal worth $1.2MM with Atlanta. Moreau started 16 games with the Falcons, playing opposite blossoming talent A.J. Terrell. The Texans figure to try him opposite Stingley, this year’s No. 3 overall pick, though Nelson stands to have considerable say in whom the team uses as its No. 2 corner.
Moreau, 28, gives the Texans some options; he has played outside and in the slot as a pro. He did not tally any interceptions last season but finished with a career-best 11 passes defensed. Moreau’s yards-per-target figure went down from 2020 to ’21, but the UCLA product’s completion percentage allowed and passer rating while the closest defender marks skyrocketed. The 6-foot defender also allowed eight touchdown receptions as the closest player in coverage, by far a career-high total.
As a result, a tepid market awaited the five-year contributor. Still, Moreau provided durability (career-high 1,037 defensive snaps) with the Falcons — after seeing his defensive snap rate plummet to 15% in Jack Del Rio‘s first DC season in Washington — and had some nice coverage stretches in the years prior.
The Texans continue to stockpile midlevel veterans under Nick Caserio, whose first offseason featured a host of deals with this sort of player. Houston added Nelson in mid-April. Despite the ex-Chiefs and Steelers starter coming off a down season with the Eagles, Nelson also worked as a full-timer last season (982 defensive snaps). The Texans have created a bit of depth at a position in which they also have returning slot defender Desmond King, whom they re-signed this offseason. The team also returns regular Tavierre Thomas, a fifth-year veteran who signed a two-year, $4MM contract in 2021.