Brandon Dunn

Seahawks Worked Out DT Brandon Dunn

The Seahawks worked out a former Texans starter today. The team had defensive tackle Brandon Dunn in for a tryout, reports Aaron Wilson (via Twitter).

Dunn had spent the majority of his career in Houston, starting 37 games for the organization. The defensive lineman actually started a career-high 13 games in 2020, finishing with 26 tackles, three sacks, and one fumble recovery. He inked a three-year, $12MM extension with the team in February of 2020, but he ended up getting cut by the team before the end of the 2021 preseason.

Bryan Mone has been sidelined with an elbow injury, so the team could be looking for some extra reinforcement at defensive tackle. The team had to elevate Robert Nkemdiche from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the Titans, and the fill-in ended up collecting seven tackles while playing on 41 percent of his team’s defensive snaps.

Dunn wasn’t the only player working out for the Seahawks today. Wilson tweets that defensive tackle Andrew Brown and wide receivers Lawrence Cager and Anthony Johnson also auditioned for Seattle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans To Release DT Brandon Dunn

Brandon Dunn‘s stint in Houston has come to an end. The Texans are releasing the veteran defensive tackle, according to Aaron Wilson of SportsTalk790 in Houston (via Twitter).

The former undrafted free agent caught on with the Texans in 2015, and he’s remained in Houston for the past six years. The veteran inked a three-year, $12MM deal with the organization last February, and he proceeded to have one of his best NFL seasons. In 13 games (13 starts), Dunn collected 26 tackles and three QB hits. His season ended on IR after he suffered a fractured hip, but Wilson notes that the 28-year-old has made a full recovery.

“Yeah, surprised,” Dunn responded when asked for his reaction to the move (via Mark Berman on Twitter). “Like anybody, it always surprising to get released, but it’s a business and I understand.”

Dunn ultimately saw time in 72 games (37 starts) for Houston, collecting 114 tackles, eight tackles for loss, nine QB hits, and one sack. He also played in four postseason games for the Texans, including a 2019 start where he picked off Andrew Luck.

Even with Dunn out of the picture, the Texans have a muddled depth chart at defensive tackle. Any of Maliek Collins, Vincent Taylor, Ross Blacklock, Auzoyah Alufohai, DeMarcus Walker, Roy Lopez, or Jaleel Johnson could jump the depth chart by the start of the regular season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans DL Brandon Dunn Feels “100 Percent”

A fractured hip forced Brandon Dunn to miss the final three games of the 2020 campaign, but the Texans defensive lineman is confident that he’s now 100-percent healthy.

“It’s been a long journey…and I’ve handled it and basically taken care of it the whole offseason,” Dunn said to Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 (via Twitter). “Due to COVID and everything, it’s not an injury during a normal year…there really weren’t any days off.

“I feel 100 percent now, and I’m ready to compete.”

The former undrafted free agent out of Louisville has been with the Texans since 2015, and he’s had a consistent spot in the middle of Houston’s defensive line since 2017. Dunn has started 37 games for the Texans over the past four seasons, collecting nine QB hits and eight tackles for loss. He started a career-high 13 games this past season, finishing with 26 tackles, three QB hits, and one fumble recovery.

Dunn inked a three-year, $12MM extension with the Texans during the 2020 offseason, so there’s a good chance he’ll be sticking around Houston for the foreseeable future. However, Dunn is also one of the few players from the previous regime, and the front office has made it clear that they’re willing to move on from anyone. While the 28-year-old sounds confident in his ability to get back on the field, he’ll have to show it to secure his roster spot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/16/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

  • Placed on IR: S Saquan Hamilton

Philadelphia Eagles

Extra Points: Harrison, Hurts, Dunn, Texans

Damon Harrison got cut by the Lions, but he’s not quite ready to call it a career. ‘Snacks’, as he’s affectionately known, had publicly contemplated retirement back in December. He won’t be returning to Detroit but Harrison doesn’t want to hang up his cleats and wants to continue playing, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Back in December Harrison revealed that injuries were taking their toll on him. “I got too much pride, man. I’ve been doing this too long. So if I can’t be the player that I’m used to being, I think my teammates deserve better, my family deserves better … I never cheated the game a day of my life, man,” an emotional Harrison said as he reportedly fought back tears.

“My mind’s still telling me I can do it,” he said, “but my body’s just not good.” Harrison is apparently feeling better now, and is ready to test the open market. His play fell off last year as he dealt with health issues, but just a couple years ago the defensive tackle was one of the best run stuffers in the league. 31 now, Harrison was a first-team All-Pro in 2016 with the Giants. He released a statement on Twitter thanking the Lions, and calling the split a mutual parting of ways. He won’t get a huge contract, but he’ll draw some interest in free agency.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Seemingly every year now there’s a minor controversy about a dual-threat quarterback being asked to work out at another position at the combine, and Oklahoma passer Jalen Hurts put that talk to rest early. The former Alabama quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist won’t work out for teams at any position other than quarterback, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. A threat with his legs as well as his arm, Hurts has been working out in Atlanta in preparation for the combine. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller had him as a late third-round pick in his recent mock draft.
  • Brandon Dunn got an extension from the Texans earlier this week, and now we have the details. It’s a three-year, $12MM deal with $4MM guaranteed, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). He got a $1.5MM signing bonus and a guaranteed $2.5MM salary for 2020, with the next two years of the deal being non-guaranteed. A former UDFA from Louisville who struggled for playing time his first couple of years in the league, the defensive tackle has now started at least six games for the Texans in each of the past three seasons.
  • In case you missed it, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy turned down a chance to become Colorado’s new head coach.

Texans Extend Brandon Dunn

The Texans have signed nose tackle Brandon Dunn to an extension, per a club announcement. Before the deal, Dunn was set to reach free agency in March.

After starting his career with the Bears, Dunn joined the Texans midway through the 2015 season. In 2017, he became a rotational regular as he appeared in every game, including eight starts. Over the last three years, Dunn has compiled 75 total tackles, including five tackles for a loss and one sack from the interior.

Dunn’s new deal helps to address one item on their defensive line to-do list. The Texans are looking to keep interior bruiser D.J. Reader under contract, but there’s still a sizable bridge to be gapped. Reader might not be a big name for most, but he could command something in the vicinity of Brandon Williams‘ 2017 deal with the Ravens. In other words, the Texans might have to pony up about $55MM over the course of five years with more than half guaranteed. Failing that, Reader may be a candidate for the franchise tag.

The exact terms of Dunn’s pact are not yet known.

Texans K Ka’imi Fairbairn Signs RFA Tender

Texans kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn has signed his second-round restricted free agent tender, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Defensive tackle Brandon Dunn and linebacker Brennan Scarlett, each of whom was tendered at the original round level, also inked their tenders, per Wilson.

Restricted free agents have until Friday to sign offer sheets, but it was always unlikely that a rival club would sacrifice a second-round pick to sign a kicker such as Fairbairn. Still, the Texans thought enough of Fairbairn to assign him a second-round tender, which costs nearly $1MM more than an original round tender. For Fairbairn, he’ll see his base salary increase to $3.095MM, a significant raise for a player who earned less than $1.5MM over the first three years of his career.

A 2016 undrafted free agent out of UCLA, Fairbairn became the Texans’ kicker in 2017 after spending his rookie campaign on injured reserve. Last year, he led the NFL in both field goal attempts and conversions while ranking 13th in field goal percentage. Football Outsiders‘ ranked Houston eighth in its field goal/extra point metric.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/11/19

Here are Monday’s moves involving restricted and exclusive-rights free agents:

ERFAs

Tendered:

RFAs

Tendered at second-round level:

Tendered at original-round level:

Non-tendered:

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/16/17

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/28/16

Here are today’s practice squad moves.

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: TE Justin Perillo (Twitter link via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune)

Houston Texans

  • Signed: DL Brandon Dunn

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: RB Dreamius Smith

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: RB Raheem Mostert
  • Cut: RB Kelvin Taylor

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: DT Rodney Coe (Twitter link via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times)
  • Cut: DE Kourtnei Brown (Twitter link via Auman)