Texans, LB Denzel Perryman Agree To Deal

MARCH 23: Wilson tweets that Perryman’s deal is one year in length, and has a value of $3.5MM. He, along with Littleton, will provide short-term experience at the second level of the Texans’ new-look defense while aiming to boost his value ahead of next offseason.

MARCH 22: The Texans’ visit with Denzel Perryman will end up producing an agreement. Even after adding Cory Littleton, the Texans will bring in Perryman, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets.

Drawing interest from the Texans and Titans, Perryman will follow Littleton to Houston. A former Chargers second-round pick, Perryman spent the past two seasons as a Raiders regular. The 30-year-old defender agreed to a one-year deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He will reunite with his 2021 Raiders teammate, Littleton, in DeMeco Ryans‘ defense.

GM Nick Caserio has continued to go to the midlevel veteran well, handing out a slew of short-term contracts to experienced players during his Houston stay. At linebacker alone, Perryman will join Littleton, Christian Kirksey and Blake Cashman among the veteran options alongside 2022 third-round pick Christian Harris.

Perryman’s Texans visit lasted two days, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes, and he has been a target since free agency’s outset. More rumors connected Perryman to Houston compared to Littleton, despite the latter having signed sooner. The Texans ranked last in run defense in 2022. While teams have questioned Perryman’s coverage chops, he is one of the better run-defending linebackers. He finished with a career-high 154 tackles in 2021 and posted a career-best 14 tackles for loss last season.

Some mutual interest existed between Perryman and the Raiders, but the team brought him in via trade (from the Panthers) during Jon Gruden‘s final season in charge. Ex-Chargers DC Gus Bradley put Perryman to work in 2021, using him on 83% of the Raiders’ defensive snaps. That number dropped to 70% under DC Patrick Graham last season, but considering Perryman’s usage rate had dipped well below 50% during his final two Bolts seasons, his Raiders run certainly qualifies as a bounce-back stretch.

Pro Football Focus concurred, slotting Perryman as a top-30 linebacker in each of the past two years. PFF ranked him 19th in 2022, despite the Raiders’ defense regressing. The ex-Miami Hurricane will attempt to help a Houston defense bounce back after four consecutive seasons ranking in the bottom five in yards yielded.

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