Andre Hal

Andre Hal Diagnosed With Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The Texans announced that safety Andre Hal has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Hal is now discussing treatment options with medical professionals. 

My faith in God and the support from my family, friends, teammates and coaches will see me through this difficult time,” Hal said. “I will not let this diagnosis stop me from fulfilling my dreams and I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me. I know how to beat this and I will beat it.”

Hal, 26, has been with the Texans since entering the league as a seventh-round pick in 2014. Eventually, he cracked the starting lineup and was rewarded with a three-year, $15MM extension prior to the 2017 season. Last year, Hal started in all 16 games for Houston and set a new career high in total tackles (71) while notching three interceptions.

The Texans will miss having one of their best defensive playmakers in the lineup, but football is the furthest thing from everyone’s mind right now.

The news of Andre Hal’s diagnosis weighs heavy on the hearts of everyone in the Houston Texans family,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “Andre epitomizes what it means to be a Houston Texan through his leadership, community involvement and team-first attitude. We are confident that Andre’s resiliency and infectious positivity, along with treatment and care from the best medical community in the world, will guide him through his recovery. The entire Texans organization is behind Andre and his family during this difficult time and we look forward to his eventual return to the team.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans, Andre Hal Agree To Extension

The Texans and safety Andre Hal have agreed to a contract extension, Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets. It’s a three-year, $15MM deal with $7MM guaranteed, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle adds (on Twitter). "<strong

Hal’s previous deal was slated to expire after carrying a $1.8MM cap number in 2017. The new agreement is more appropriate for him since he has started in 22 of his 31 games over the last two seasons.

Last year, Hal finished out with 46 tackles, two interceptions, and a sack. In ’15, he had a career high four picks. For what it’s worth, the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus weren’t crazy about Hal last year, placing him as just the No. 60 safety in the NFL out of 90 qualified players. However, he did score higher than notables like Tyrann Mathieu and T.J. McDonald.

Hal will be the Texans’ top free safety this year with Corey Moore starting at strong safety.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2017 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Donte Moncrief (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.8MM in 2017. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2017 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Aaron Lynch, LB; Marcus Martin, OL

Bears: Charles Leno, T; Will Sutton, DT

Bengals: Russell Bodine, C

Bills: Preston Brown, LB; Seantrel Henderson, T

Broncos: Michael Schofield, OL

Browns: Christian Kirksey, LB

Buccaneers: Kevin Pamphile, G

Cardinals: John Brown, WR

Chiefs: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, G; Zach Fulton, G; Phillip Gaines, CB

Colts: Donte Moncrief, WR

Cowboys: Anthony Hitchens, LB

Falcons: Devonta Freeman, RB

Giants: Devon Kennard, LB

Jaguars: Aaron Colvin, CB; Brandon Linder, G; Telvin Smith, LB

Lions: Nevin Lawson, CB; Travis Swanson, C

Packers: Corey Linsley, C; Richard Rodgers, TE

Panthers: Tre Boston, S; Trai Turner, G

Raiders: T.J. Carrie, CB; Justin Ellis, DT; Gabe Jackson, G

Rams: Maurice Alexander, S; E.J. Gaines, CB

Redskins: Bashaud Breeland, CB; Spencer Long, G; Morgan Moses, T

Texans: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE; Andre Hal, S

Titans: DaQuan Jones, DL; Avery Williamson, LB

Vikings: Shamar Stephen, DT

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Signings: Chiefs, Cards, Texans, Cowboys

We’ve already rounded up several draft pick signings a couple times today, but with teams and players motivated to hammer out deals, there are another handful of updates to pass along this afternoon. Let’s dive right in….

  • The Chiefs have locked up third-round cornerback Phillip Gaines, his reps tell’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). Meanwhile,’s James Walker reports (via Twitter) that fourth-rounder De’Anthony Thomas has also signed with Kansas City. According to Jason Fitzgerald of, Gaines should receive a signing bonus worth about $549K, while Thomas’ will be worth around $420K.
  • The Cardinals have agreed to terms with third-round pick Kareem Martin, a source tells Caplan (Twitter link). That would make Martin the first Arizona draftee to sign so far.
  • After signing Ben Gardner earlier today, the Cowboys have agreed to terms with two more draftees, according to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who writes that seventh-round linebacker Will Smith has agreed to his deal, and tweets that seventh-round cornerback Terrance Mitchell has done the same.
  • The Texans have agreed to terms with quarterback Tom Savage, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Houston’s fourth-round pick will be in line for a bonus of just over $300K, according to Fitzgerald.
  • A couple agents broke their clients’ own news this afternoon, with Mike McCartney tweeting that Princeton DT Caraun Reid has signed his contract with the Lions, while Blake Baratz announced (via Twitter) that sixth-rounder Zach Moore is the first draftee to sign with the Patriots.
  • The Colts have signed sixth-round linebacker Andrew Jackson, the team announced today in a press release.
  • According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), the Packers have signed fifth-round pick Corey Linsley. Linsley’s signing bonus should be worth $185K, based on Fitzgerald’s figures at OTC.
  • The Seahawks have signed Kiero Small to his rookie contract, a source tells Curtis Crabtree of KJR in Seattle. The seventh-round fullback is the second of nine Seahawks draft picks to sign.
  • The Texans and Eagles have signed seventh-rounders, according to various reports. Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston has the details on Texans cornerback Andre Hal, while Geoff Mosher of tweets the new on Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen.

AFC Notes: Pats, Dolphins, Zuttah, Titans

DeSean Jackson‘s release was the latest reminder that trades are tricky to work out in the NFL, even when it’s simply a matter of trying to swap a player for a draft pick. Player-for-player deals are even more difficult to finalize, but Field Yates of (Insider-only link) has five suggestions for trades he thinks would benefit both sides, and four of them don’t include any picks. Among Yates’ suggestions: Ryan Mathews from the Chargers to the Titans for offensive tackle Michael Roos, and defensive lineman Jared Odrick from the Dolphins to the Patriots for offensive lineman Marcus Cannon.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • While it won’t have a real effect on teams’ cap situations for 2014, about $105MM in leaguewide deferred payments on bonus money are due today and tomorrow, tweets Brian McIntyre. As Yates writes in another piece, the Patriots are among the teams with a handful of payments owed, including $2.5MM each to offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer and cornerback Kyle Arrington.
  • Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he plans to speak to Dan Marino about a possible job within the organization, though he’s not sure yet what sort of role it would be, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
  • When the Ravens acquired Jeremy Zuttah in a trade last week, the team also worked out a five-year extension with the veteran center. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun now has the details on Zuttah’s new contract, tweeting that it’s worth $18MM with $6.5MM guaranteed. That includes a $3.5MM signing bonus, a $1MM guaranteed 2014 base salary, and $2MM of his $3MM 2015 base salary in guaranteed money. Wilson adds in a second tweet that the deal also includes playing-time and Pro Bowl escalators, and provides the full breakdown of annual base salaries and cap figures in two final tweets.
  • The base salaries on Shaun Phillips‘ two-year deal with the Titans are $1.5MM (2014) and $2.55MM (2015), tweets Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
  • The Titans are hosting several players for pre-draft visits today, says Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean (all Twitter links). According to Wyatt, the players visiting the Titans include tight end A.C. Leonard, offensive linemen Kadeem Edwards and Demetrius Rhaney, and defensive back David Van Dyke of Tennessee State, as well as former Vanderbilt kicker Carey Spear, cornerback Andre Hal, and safety Kenny Ladler.
  • Nearly three weeks after the free agent period began, Tony Grossi of resets the Browns’ roster, examining which positions still might be areas of need.