Texans Rumors

Texans Host LB Neville Hewitt

Neville Hewitt could be heading west. The free agent linebacker visited with the Texans today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

Despite going undrafted out of Marshall, Hewitt has had a consistent NFL gig since 2015. After spending his first three seasons in Miami, Hewitt joined the Jets back in 2018, and he’s been a staple of their defense ever since.

Following a 2019 campaign that saw him finish with a career-high three sacks, Hewitt arguably had his best NFL campaign in 2020. He ultimately finished the season with 134 tackles (the eighth-highest mark in the league), six tackles for loss, two sacks, and one forced fumble. Hewitt also finished the year having appeared in 99-percent of his team’s defensive snaps, while his previous career-high saw him appear in only 69-percent of his team’s defensive snaps.

Hewitt is a bit of a curious fit in Houston; the Texans have already added seven free agent linebackers, and they added TCU’s Garret Wallow in the fifth-round of last week’s draft. In total, the team currently has 15 linebackers on their roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Front Office Notes: Panthers, Kuechly, Texans

Scott Fitterer is looking to add to his staff. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Panthers have requested permission to interview Bills director of player personnel Dan Morgan for their assistant GM job. The organization has also reached out to the Eagles about interviewing director of player personnel Ian Cunningham for the assistant GM gig, via Rapoport on Twitter.

Morgan, of course, was a first-round pick by the Panthers back in 2001. The linebacker spent the first seven seasons of his career with Carolina, including a 2004 campaign where he made his lone Pro Bowl appearance. Following his playing career, Morgan joined the Seahawks front office, and he’s been in his current role with Buffalo since 2018.

Cunningham’s front office career started in Baltimore, and he joined the Eagles organization as director of college scouting in 2017. The executive was promoted to his current gig in 2019. As Eagles reporter Geoff Mosher points out (on Twitter), Panthers director of player personnel Patrick Stewart previously served as Philly’s national scout, so the front office has a connection to the Eagles.

Let’s check out some more front office notes from around the NFL…

  • While the Panthers are looking to add to their front office, the team has also lost a valuable (and very popular scout). Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Panthers legend Luke Kuechly resigned from his role as pro scout. The former Defensive Player of the Year took on the role after retiring as a player last offseason. Panthers reporter Joe Person tweets that Kuechly wants to spend more time with his family before deciding the next steps of his career.
  • The Texans and director of pro personnel Rob Kisiel have mutually decided to part ways, according to Albert Breet of TheMMQB (via Twitter). Kisiel had been with the organization since the beginning, first serving as a scout before eventually making his way up to director of pro personnel.
  • Speaking of the Texans, the front office hired former Patriots pro scout Ronnie McGill prior to the draft, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Houston GM Nick Caserio has had a habit of stealing talent from New England, and it makes sense that he’d have his eyes on McGill. The former college running back had been with the Patriots organization since 2010.

2021 NFL Draft Results By Round

The 2021 NFL Draft is here! We’ll be keeping tabs here, from pick No. 1 through No. 259:

Round 1

1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB (Clemson)
2) New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB (BYU)
3) San Francisco 49ers (from Texans via Dolphins): Trey Lance, QB (North Dakota State)
4) Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE (Florida)
5) Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR (LSU)
6) Miami Dolphins (from Eagles): Jaylen Waddle, WR (Alabama)
7) Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell, OT (Oregon)
8) Carolina Panthers: Jaycee Horn, CB (South Carolina)
9) Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, CB (Alabama)
10) Philadelphia Eagles (from Cowboys): DeVonta Smith, WR (Alabama)
11) Chicago Bears (from Giants): Justin Fields, QB (Ohio State)
12) Dallas Cowboys (from 49ers via Dolphins via Eagles): Micah Parsons, LB (Penn State)
13) Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OT (Northwestern)
14) New York Jets (from Vikings): Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL (USC)
15) New England Patriots: Mac Jones, QB (Alabama)
16) Arizona Cardinals: Zaven Collins, LB (Tulsa)
17) Las Vegas Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OL (Alabama)
18) Miami Dolphins: Jaelan Phillips, DL (Miami)
19) Washington Football Team: Jamin Davis, LB (Kentucky)
20) New York Giants (from Bears): Kadarius Toney, WR (Florida)
21) Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye, DL (Michigan)
22) Tennessee Titans: Caleb Farley, CB (Virginia Tech)
23) Minnesota Vikings (from Seahawks via Jets): Christian Darrisaw, OT (Virginia Tech)
24) Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, RB (Alabama)
25) Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Travis Etienne, RB (Clemson)
26) Cleveland Browns: Greg Newsome II, CB (Northwestern)
27) Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR (Minnes0ta)
28) New Orleans Saints: Payton Turner, DE (Houston)
29) Green Bay Packers: Eric Stokes, CB (Georgia)
30) Buffalo Bills: Gregory Rousseau, DL (Miami)
31) Baltimore Ravens (from Chiefs): Jayson Oweh, DE (Penn State)
32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joe Tryon, LB (Washington)

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2021 NFL Draft Results: Team By Team

The 2021 NFL Draft has arrived! As the picks come in, we’ll keep track of each team’s haul right here:

[RELATED: 2021 NFL Draft Order By Round]

Arizona Cardinals

Round 1: No. 16 Zaven Collins, LB (Tulsa)
Round 2: No. 49 Rondale Moore, WR (Purdue)
Round 4: No. 136 (from Ravens) Marco Wilson, CB (Florida)
Round 6: No. 210 (from Ravens) Victor Dimukeje, LB (Duke)
Round 6: No. 223 (from Vikings) Tay Gowan, CB (Central Florida)
Round 7: No. 243 James Wiggins, S (Cincinnati)
Round 7: No. 247 (from Bears through Raiders) Michal Menet, C (Penn State)

Atlanta Falcons

Round 1: No. 4 Kyle Pitts, TE (Florida)
Round 2: No. 40 (from Broncos) S Richie Grant (Central Florida)
Round 3: No. 68 Jalen Mayfield, OT (Michigan)
Round 4: No. 108: Darren Hall, CB (SDSU)
Round 4: No. 114 (from Broncos) Drew Dalman, C (Stanford)
Round 5: No. 148 Ta’Quon Graham, DT (Texas)
Round 5: No. 182 Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE (Notre Dame)
Round 5: No. 183 Avery Williams, CB (Boise State)
Round 6: No. 187 Frank Darby, WR (Arizona State)

Baltimore Ravens

Round 1: No. 27 Rashod Bateman, WR (Minnes0ta)
Round 1: No. 31 (from Chiefs) Jayson Oweh, DE (Penn State)
Round 3: No. 94 (from Chiefs) Ben Cleveland, G (Georgia)
Round 3: No. 104 Brandon Stephens, CB (SMU)
Round 4: No. 131 Tylan Wallace, WR (Oklahoma State)
Round 5: No. 160 (from Cardinals) Shaun Wade, CB (Ohio State)
Round 5: No. 171 Daelin Hayes, LB (Notre Dame)
Round 5: No. 184 Ben Mason, FB (Michigan)

Buffalo Bills

Round 1: No. 30 Gregory Rousseau, DL (Miami)
Round 2: No. 61 Carlos Basham Jr., DE (Wake Forest)
Round 3: No. 93 Spencer Brown, OT (Northern Iowa)
Round 5: No. 161 (from Raiders) Tommy Doyle, OT (Miami (Ohio))
Round 6: No. 203 Marquez Stevenson, WR (Houston)
Round 6: No. 212 (from Saints via Texans) Damar Hamlin, S (Pittsburgh)
Round 6: No. 213 Rachad Wildgoose, CB (Wisconsin)
Round 7: No. 236 (from Panthers) Jack Anderson, G (Texas Tech)

Carolina Panthers

Round 1: No. 8 Jaycee Horn, CB (South Carolina)
Round 2: No. 59 (from Browns) Terrace Marshall Jr., WR (LSU)
Round 3: No. 70 (from Eagles) Brady Christensen, OT (BYU)
Round 3: No. 83 (from Bears) Tommy Tremble, TE (Notre Dame)
Round 4: No. 113 Chuba Hubbard, RB (Oklahoma State) (signed)
Round 5: No. 158 Daviyon Nixon, DT (Iowa)
Round 5: No. 166 (from Titans) Keith Taylor, CB (Washington)
Round 6: No. 204 (from Bears) Shi Smith, WR (South Carolina)
Round 6: No. 222 Thomas Fletcher, LS (Alabama)
Round 7: No. 232 (from Titans) Phil Hoskins, DT (Kentucky)

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Texans Draft Stanford QB Davis Mills

In his first pick as the Texans’ general manager, Nick Caserio selected Stanford quarterback Davis Mills. The No. 67 overall pick will now join Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Finley, and embattled star Deshaun Watson on the team’s QB depth chart.

Mills went in the midst of a Day 2 QB run, hearing his name called just after Florida QB Kyle Trask (Buccaneers) and Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond (Vikings). Some prognosticators preferred Mills to Trask and Mond, and most oddsmakers actually expected him to come off the board first. Mills does not project to be a world-beater, but he is nearly 6’4″ and fairly built with better-than-average footwork.

Injuries to starter K.J. Costello thrust Mills under center in 2019. That year, he threw for 1,960 yards and eleven touchdowns across eight games. In 2020, he was named the starter as Costello left for Mississippi State. In his (abbreviated) 2020 campaign, Mills completed 66.2% of his throws for 1,508 yards and seven TDs.

In related news, the Texans fielded inquiries from the Pats, Bears, and the Washington Football Team prior to the draft. By now, at least two of those teams are probably out of the Watson picture.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pats, Bears, Washington Pursued Deshaun Watson; Dolphins Prepared Big Offer

Prior to Aaron Rodgers taking his turn as the centerpiece of 2021’s complex quarterback saga, Deshaun Watson resided there. However, the Texans quarterback’s legal issues ground trade rumors to a halt. Prior to that happening, however, a fourth of the league pursued him.

While several of Watson’s suitors have been known, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports (via the Sporting News) the Patriots, Bears and Washington were among the eight teams to express interest in three-time Pro Bowler. The others were previously known suitors — the Broncos, Dolphins, Jets, Panthers and 49ers. The 49ers have kept tabs on Watson this offseason, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. San Francisco also has inquired about Rodgers’ availability.

It certainly is not surprising the Bears and Washington reached out. Both teams have sought QB answers for a bit. Each moved on, but the Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick deals are stopgaps. The Patriots join as a clear connection, having employed Texans honchos Nick Caserio and Jack Easterby previously. The Pats re-signed Cam Newton but are on the radar to trade up for a quarterback tonight.

In addition to this octet of teams interested in a quarterback the Texans had previously refused to discuss in trades, McClain adds the Dolphins were preparing a big offer for the passer. Tua Tagovailoa was to be included in the proposal. As was the No. 3 overall pick. A future Dolphins offer would be different, with the team having traded that pick to the 49ers.

Dolphins GM Chris Grier has backed Tagovailoa on multiple occasions this offseason but has not been shy about making seismic deals — as the trade with the 49ers or the 2019 Laremy Tunsil deal showed. Tagovailoa was mentioned in Watson rumors at one point.

This market could heat up again at some point, but a few of these teams will have moved on to long-term QBs by Thursday’s end. The Jets and 49ers are prepared to select quarterbacks tonight. The Broncos and Patriots may do so as well, with Washington and Chicago looming as trade-up candidates. The Watson market has been on pause for several weeks now. More than 20 women have accused the 25-year-old passer of sexual misconduct or sexual assault.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2021 NFL Draft: Team By Team

The 2021 NFL Draft has arrived! Soon, picks will soon be swapped and shuffled at lightning speed. But, before the trading frenzy starts, here’s a look at the draft picks owned by each team:

[RELATED: 2021 NFL Draft Order By Round]

Arizona Cardinals – Picks: 6

Round 1: No. 16 overall
Round 2: No. 49
Round 5: No. 160
Round 6: No. 223 (from Vikings)
Round 7: Nos. 243, 247 (from Bears through Raiders)

Atlanta Falcons — Picks: 9

Round 1: No. 4 overall
Round 2: No. 35
Round 3: No. 68
Round 4: No. 108
Round 5: Nos. 148, 182, 183
Round 6: Nos. 187, 219

Baltimore Ravens – Picks: 10

Round 1: Nos. 27, 31 (from Chiefs) overall
Round 2: No. 58
Round 3: Nos. 94 (from Chiefs), 104
Round 4: Nos. 131, 136 (from Chiefs)
Round 5: Nos. 171, 184
Round 6: No. 210

Buffalo Bills — Picks: 7

Round 1: No. 30 overall
Round 2: No. 61
Round 3: No. 93
Round 5: Nos. 161 (from Raiders), 174
Round 6: No. 213
Round 7: No. 236 (from Panthers)

Carolina Panthers — Picks: 8

Round 1: No. 8 overall
Round 2: No. 39
Round 3: No. 73
Round 4: No. 113
Round 5: No. 151
Round 6: Nos. 191 (from Broncos), 193, 222

Chicago Bears — Picks: 8

Round 1: No. 20 overall
Round 2: No. 52
Round 3: No. 83
Round 5: No. 164
Round 6: Nos. 204, 208 (from Seahawks through Dolphins), 221, 228

Cincinnati Bengals — Picks: 8

Round 1: No. 5 overall
Round 2: No. 38
Round 3: No. 69
Round 4: No. 111
Round 5: No. 149
Round 6: No. 190
Round 7: Nos. 202 (from Dolphins through Texans), 235 (from Lions through Seahawks)

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Updated 2021 NFL Draft Order: Round 1

The Ravens sent Orlando Brown to the Chiefs on Friday, shuffling the first-round order of the NFL Draft once again. Now, the Ravens are one of four teams to hold multiple first-round picks, joining the Jaguars (Nos. 1 and 25), Jets (Nos. 2 and 23), and Dolphins (Nos. 6 and 18). In turn, Chiefs no longer have a top-32 choice, joining the Seahawks, Texans, and Rams.

As we look ahead to Thursday, here’s how the first round currently stands:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars
2. New York Jets
3. San Francisco 49ers (from HOU via MIA)
4. Atlanta Falcons
5. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Miami Dolphins (from PHI)
7. Detroit Lions
8. Carolina Panthers
9. Denver Broncos
10. Dallas Cowboys
11. New York Giants
12. Philadelphia Eagles (from SF via MIA)
13. Los Angeles Chargers
14. Minnesota Vikings
15. New England Patriots
16. Arizona Cardinals
17. Las Vegas Raiders
18. Miami Dolphins
19. Washington Football Team
20. Chicago Bears
21. Indianapolis Colts
22. Tennessee Titans
23. New York Jets (from SEA)
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR)
26. Cleveland Browns
27. Baltimore Ravens
28. New Orleans Saints
29. Green Bay Packers
30. Buffalo Bills
31. Baltimore Ravens (from KC)
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Contract Details: Smith, Falcons, Texans

Here are the details from some of the league’s most recently agreed-upon contracts:

  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (Falcons): One year, $3MM. The decorated kick returner’s contract includes a $1.7MM base salary and $1.3MM signing bonus, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets.
  • DeMarcus Walker, DL (Texans): One year, $1.5MM. The ex-Broncos D-lineman will receive $500K guaranteed and can earn up to $200K in per-game roster bonuses, per veteran NFL reporter Aaron Wilson (on Twitter). Walker’s deal will count $1.45MM against the Texans’ cap.
  • Jaleel Johnson, DL (Texans): One year, $1.3MM. Johnson will see $300K of his $1MM base salary guaranteed, Wilson tweets. A $350K incentive also exists within this deal.
  • Roderick Johnson, T (Texans): One year, $1.15MM. Johnson will receive $350K guaranteed. He will be attached to a $920K base salary and can collect $130K in per-game roster bonuses, Wilson tweets.
  • Aldon Smith, DE (Seahawks): One year, $1.13MM. Smith agreed to a deal that includes a nonguaranteed $990K base salary, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets. He will collect a $137K signing bonus, with the contract counting at $988K on Seattle’s cap sheet.
  • Lane Taylor, G (Texans): One year, $1.13MM. Taylor will collect a $138K signing bonus and count $988K toward Houston’s cap, Wilson tweets.
  • Duron Harmon, S (Falcons): One year, $1.1MM. Harmon will receive $363K guaranteed, per Rothstein. He will count $988K against Atlanta’s cap.

Deshaun Watson’s Attorney: Lawsuits Are A “Money Grab”

On Monday, Deshaun Watson‘s legal team filed a written response to the lawsuits against him (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The lengthy document denies all allegations of sexual misconduct.

[RELATED: Texans Submit Offer To Nick Easton]

More than 20 women have filed civil lawsuits against Watson in recent weeks. Meanwhile, some of those women have contacted the authorities, raising the possibility of criminal charges. In his response, lawyer Rusty Hardin said that he wants a jury trial in order to give Watson a chance to clear his name.

Furthermore, Hardin claims that eight of the plaintiffs bragged about working with Watson while seven of the accusers “willingly worked” or “offered” to work with him after “their alleged incidents”. He also claims that some of the accusers “lied” about the number of times they worked with Watson and told others that they wanted to get money out of the NFL star.

It was not until the plaintiffs saw an opportunity for a money grab that they changed their stories to convert therapy sessions they bragged about to friends and family to something much more nefarious,” Hardin wrote.

Meanwhile, Watson’s football future remains in flux. Last week, Texans GM Nick Caserio declined to comment on Watson’s status with the team.

If you want to speculate, you should probably go buy Bitcoin,” Caserio said.

One of the civil suits against Watson was dropped earlier this month. However, another plaintiff came forward a few days later to bring the total count back to 22.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.