Brandon Dunn

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)

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/26/16

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Raiders waived tight end Ryan O’Malley and tackle Matt McCants, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Practice squad linebackers James Cowser and Tyrell Adams will ascend to the 53-man roster, Caplan tweets. Shilique Calhoun is out, with starting middle linebacker Perry Riley questionable for Week 12. Neither Cowser nor Adams has seen any game action yet.
  • Defensive lineman Ufomba Kamalu could be set for his NFL debut after the Texans promoted him from their practice squad and cut defensive lineman Brandon Dunn to make room, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Dunn played in 17 games for the Bears and Texans from 2014-16 after arriving in the league in ’14 as a UDFA.
  • The Jaguars promoted tight end Alex Ellis and waived defensive tackle Richard Ash, the team announced. Ellis has yet to play in a game; Ash saw action in one in each of the past two seasons. A rookie UDFA from Tennessee, Ellis caught just eight passes as a senior.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/19/16

Wednesday’s minor moves:

  • The Texans added two defenders to their active roster Wednesday, promoting lineman Brandon Dunn from their practice squad and signing free agent safety Don Jones, as Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets. To make room, Houston placed safety K.J. Dillon and linebacker Brennan Scarlett on IR.

Practice Squad Updates: 10/16/16

Sunday’s practice squad moves:

Houston Texans

  • After cutting him several days ago to make room for Robert Nelson on the 53-man roster, the Texans have re-signed DT Brandon Dunn to their practice squad, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The 24-year-old Louisville product appeared in 11 games for the Texans last year in a special teams role, totaling seven tackles. Houston’s coaching staff regards Dunn as a player with high upside.

Texans To Promote CB Robert Nelson

The Texans are promoting cornerback Robert Nelson from the practice squad to the main roster, as John McClain of the Houston Chronicle tweets. To make room, defensive lineman Brandon Dunn has been released.

[RELATED: Texans Place Devon Still On IR]

Nelson joined the Texans’ taxi squad late in 2015 and he was re-signed on a reserve/futures deal in January. Unable to make the 53-man cut, he agreed to return to the Texans’ practice squad this year. Now, he’s ready for his first NFL stint since 2014 when he was on the roster for seven games with the Browns.

Houston hopes to re-sign Dunn to the practice squad, according to McClain. The 24-year-old appeared in eleven games for the Texans last year in a special teams role, totaling seven tackles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.