Texans Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/22/24

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

  • Waived-injured: WR Jared Wayne

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

  • Signed: WR Kevin Austin Jr.

New York Jets

Texans Sign RB Cam Akers

8:03pm: Akers’ Sunday tryout in Houston was a successful one as Wilson follows up his earlier report with an update that Akers has been signed by the Texans. After 15 starts in just over three years with the Rams and short stint in Minnesota, Akers now joins the Texans backfield for a third opportunity. He’ll now compete with Dare Ogunbowale and rookie sixth-round pick Jawhar Jordan for a backup role behind Mixon and Pierce.

In addition to Jackson and Williams, Wilson reports that Akers was joined in his workout by Ke’Shawn Vaughn. A former third-round pick out of Vanderbilt, Vaughn failed to catch on in Tampa Bay before spending part of last year on the Patriots’ practice squad.

1:40pm: The Texans have been busy in recent days with respect to investigating a backfield addition. Houston’s efforts on that front continued Sunday.

The team hosted Cam Akers on a workout, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports. The former Ram and Viking is among the players looking to find a new home as training camps open around the league. Houston also brought in veteran Deon Jackson and undrafted rookie Miyan Williams earlier this week.

Devin Singletary departed in free agency this year, and the Texans were suitors for a number of high-profile backs on the market. In the end, the team swung a trade with the Bengals for Joe Mixon and signed him to a new deal. The soon-to-be 28-year-old will thus handle lead back duties for the foreseeable future. 2022 fourth-rounder Dameon Pierce remains as a backup option.

Houston has nearly $19MM in cap space, so a move at the running back spot (or any other position) is certainly feasible. Akers, 25, should not be an expensive option for the Texans or any other interested team. Following the end of his Los Angeles tenure, he was dealt to Minnesota. The Florida State alum made just six appearances with the Vikings before he was sidelined with the second Achilles tear of his career.

To little surprise, Akers – who showed promise when healthy before falling out of favor with Sean McVay – remains unsigned deep into the offseason. He recently underwent a physical, and a report from earlier this month suggested the Vikings would be open to re-signing him if he passed. The fact that Akers is still available (and visiting other teams) is a sign he failed the physical or that Minnesota has moved on to other options. In any event, he will attempt to latch onto a roster in Houston or elsewhere in the coming days.

NFL Workouts: Texans, Quarterman, Fromm

The Texans appear to be looking for another body in the running backs room. According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, Houston hosted veteran rusher Deon Jackson and undrafted Ohio State rookie Miyan Williams for workouts today.

Jackson spent his first two seasons out of Duke with the Colts as an undrafted free agent. Due to injuries to Jonathan Taylor, Jackson saw extended time in two starts during his sophomore campaign. He recorded career highs in carries (68), yards (236), and touchdowns (1) that season. Last year, Jackson bounced around, playing games for the Colts, Browns, and Giants.

Williams played four seasons for the Buckeyes in five years with the team, spending most of his time as a backup. Injury trouble for TreVeyon Henderson in 2022 opened the door for Williams to have a breakout season, rushing for 825 yards at 6.4 yards per clip and scoring 14 touchdowns. In 2023, a healthy Henderson and an influx of new talent severely reduced Williams’ role.

With free agent addition Joe Mixon and third-year back Dameon Pierce in place atop the depth chart, Jackson and Williams are trying out for an opportunity to push Dare Ogunbowale and sixth-round rookie Jawhar Jordan for a backup job.

Here are a couple other workouts from around the league recently:

  • The Bears looked at some potential linebacker depth yesterday in Shaquille Quarterman, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. After four years with the Hurricanes, Quarterman returned to his hometown as a fourth-round pick for the Jaguars. While he never started a game over the course of his rookie deal in Duval, Quarterman became a core special teamer. He earned some defensive snaps in his second season with the team, totaling 30 tackles that year and, though his time was even more limited in 2022, he made the most of it, forcing a fumble on Derrick Henry in a division matchup. Chicago returns their top three linebackers, so Quarterman is likely looked at only as a potential depth addition.
  • The Packers worked out a notable name at quarterback today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, hosting former Georgia championship-winning passer Jake Fromm. Since being drafted by the Bills in the fifth round in 2020, Fromm has bounced from Buffalo to the Giants to the Commanders. His only playing time came in New York where he started two losing efforts, completing 45 percent of his passes for 210 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Green Bay hopes to not need anyone behind Jordan Love, but perhaps they are seeking a bit more experience in a camp arm than the two draft picks from the last two years they currently roster.

The NFL’s Eight-Figure Dead Money Hits For 2024

The NFL moved into new territory this offseason, with one Broncos decision creating a staggering gap between the most costly dead money hits and No. 2 on the all-time list. Beyond Denver’s Russell Wilson release, other teams are taking on notable dead cap hits in 2024. Here are the players who will account for more than $10MM in dead money on teams’ payrolls this year.

  1. Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): $53MM
  2. Stefon Diggs, WR (Bills): $31.1MM
  3. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): $28.5MM
  4. Haason Reddick, EDGE (Eagles) $21.52MM
  5. Jamal Adams, S (Seahawks) $20.83MM
  6. J.C. Jackson, CB (Chargers): $20.83MM
  7. David Bakhtiari, T (Packers): $18.15MM
  8. Danielle Hunter, EDGE (Vikings): $14.91MM
  9. Carlton Davis, CB (Buccaneers) $14.1MM
  10. Andrus Peat, OL (Saints): $13.64MM
  11. Kevin Byard, S (Titans): $13.36MM
  12. Mike Williams, WR (Chargers): $12.46MM
  13. Aaron Jones, RB (Packers): $12.36MM
  14. Chandler Jones, EDGE (Raiders): $12.27MM
  15. Mike Evans, WR (Buccaneers): $12.19MM
  16. Keenan Allen, WR (Chargers): $11.62MM
  17. Xavien Howard, CB (Dolphins): $11.41MM
  18. Michael Thomas, WR (Saints): $11.19MM
  19. Laken Tomlinson, G (Jets): $10.74MM
  20. Leonard Williams, DL (Giants): $10.64MM
  21. Arik Armstead, DL (49ers) $10.31MM
  22. Quandre Diggs, S (Seahawks): $10.26MM
  23. Byron Jones, CB (Dolphins): $10.1MM
  24. Maliek Collins, DT (Texans): $10MM

Months after trading for Wilson, the Broncos gave the decorated quarterback a five-year, $245MM extension. While Wilson offered something of a bounce-back effort from a shockingly mediocre 2022, Sean Payton‘s team still opted to designate him as a post-June 1 cut. Wilson’s $37MM injury guarantee, which the Broncos attempted to move in an effort that led to NFLPA involvement but no grievance, would have resulted in comparable dead money in 2025 had he remained on Denver’s roster on Day 5 of the 2024 league year and then been released next year.

The Broncos will receive a small cap credit — due to Wilson’s veteran minimum Steelers deal — in 2025, but the team will take on more than $83MM in total dead money from the release. This shatters the NFL record for dead money, which the Falcons previously held by trading Matt Ryan ($40.5MM), and the contract will remain on Denver’s books through the 2025 season. The Broncos opted to take on more dead money this year than next, separating this post-June 1 cut from most teams’ strategies.

The Bills’ decision to trade Diggs less than two years after giving him a four-year extension broke the non-QB dead money record. Unlike the Wilson matter, Buffalo will take on the Pro Bowl wide receiver’s full dead cap hit this year. Ditto Green Bay, which passed on a Bakhtiari post-June 1 designation. The Chargers will also be rid of the Allen and Williams responsibilities after 2024. The Seahawks also passed on post-June 1 designations with Adams and Diggs.

New Orleans has Thomas set to count more than $9MM in dead money in 2025 as well due to using the June 1 strategy. The Dolphins are still paying out the Jones contract from a 2023 post-June 1 designation, while Howard’s post-June 1 status will create a $15.7MM dead money penalty in 2025.

Void years created the Vikings’ Cousins cap hit. After attempting to negotiate a fourth contract with the veteran quarterback last year, the parties failing to come to terms resulted in void years being added in a restructure. The Falcons came in much higher than the Vikings were willing to go, guarantee-wise, leading Minnesota to a new QB path and significant Cousins dead money.

The Eagles also included three void years on Reddick’s contract, and the Buccaneers will eat some Evans dead money — despite re-signing the 11th-year wide receiver just before free agency — due to a void year-driven trigger before the latest contract was signed.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/18/24

Today’s minor moves:

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

As a reminder, players who land on the physically unable to perform list or the non-football injury list can be activated at any time during training camp or the preseason. If players remain on either of those two lists following initial 53-man rosters, they’ll be forced to sit out the first four games of the 2024 season.

While the majority of the Dolphins’ injuries were expected, Isaiah Wynn‘s placement on PUP is a bit of a surprise. The offensive lineman continues to recover from a quadriceps injury that ended his 2023 campaign in October, but his rehab is apparently taking longer than expected. After mostly playing offensive tackle to begin his career, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the former first-round pick is expected to be the “front-runner” at left guard once he’s healthy enough to see the field. Jackson also passed along that Salvon Ahmed‘s issue isn’t related to his season-ending foot injury from last season and is a result of a “minor medical issue.” The RB is firmly on the roster bubble heading into training camp.

WR Randall Cobb Open To 2024 Deal

11:10am: Cobb is in fact still open to playing this season, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network notes. His limited 2023 production makes it little surprise no market has emerged in recent months, but a change in that respect could take place as training camps open up around the league. If not, Cobb will try his hand at broadcasting this fall.

9:35am: Randall Cobb‘s playing career has come to an end. It was announced on Thursday the former Pro Bowl wideout will join the SEC Network for the 2024 campaign. ESPN’s press release on the matter notes that Cobb retired following this past season.

Cobb entered the league in 2011 with the Packers. That began an eight-year run in Green Bay, one in which he proved to be a consistent pass-catching option for Aaron Rodgers. The Kentucky alum had his best season in 2014, racking up 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. That production (which was preceded by strong performances as a returner) yielded his only Pro Bowl nod.

Following the expiration of his four-year, $40MM Packers contract, Cobb took a one-year Cowboys deal. That accord saw him register a career-high 15.1 yards per catch average while posting 828 yards. The former second-rounder then landed a three-year Texans deal in 2020, but he only wound up playing a single season in Houston. A summer 2021 trade saw Cobb rejoin the Packers.

Across 25 appearances in 2021 and ’22, he logged a much smaller workload than he had in years past. Cobb nevertheless scored six touchdowns during that span while remaining a deep threat. Once Rodgers was dealt to the Jets last offseason, a wishlist of familiar faces quickly emerged. To little surprise, Cobb found himself on it.

New York inked the veteran last May, providing Rodgers with another one of his desired receiving options. Cobb made 11 appearances with the Jets in 2023, but he recorded only five receptions during that span. Now, at the age of 33, he will turn his attention away from the playing field as he transitions to broadcasting.

“I am incredibly excited to be coming home to the SEC with this new role,” Cobb said in a statement. “The level of greatness this conference provides year after year is unmatched – I cannot wait return to the conference family with this SEC Network crew.”

In all, Cobb will hang up his cleats with 178 combined regular and postseason appearances to his name. Across 13 seasons in the NFL, he amassed just over $72.5MM in career earnings.

Texans Host OL Cameron Erving

The Texans may bring in veteran reinforcements along the offensive line in the build-up to training camp. Houston recently hosted Cameron Erving on a workout, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 notes.

Erving has seen playing time with five teams across his nine seasons in the NFL. The former first-rounder spent the early portion of his career along the interior, logging time at both guard spots as well as center in 2016. More recently, though, he has primarily operated as a tackle.

The 31-year-old made 21 starts between 2019-21 while playing for the Chiefs, Cowboys and Panthers. Each of those came at left tackle, but at no point did he draw a favorable PFF evaluation. Run blocking in particular was an issue in that respect, and he hardly played during the 2022 campaign. That was set to remain the case last season with the Saints until Ryan Ramczyk was placed on IR in December.

That move allowed Erving to be signed from New Orleans’ practice squad to the active roster to close out the campaign. The Florida State product made three appearances (and two starts) in Ramczyk’s place, allowing one sack and four pressures during his limited action. Considering his journeyman status and his underwhelming performances of late, it comes as no surprise he remains unsigned deep into the summer.

The Texans dealt with a slew of injuries up front last season, and adding veteran depth could provide insurance in case of a repeat in 2024. Houston has Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard in place as starters at the left and right tackle spots. The team is positioned to use Juice Scruggs in the middle along with Shaq Mason at right guard, while the left guard spot is up for grabs during training camp and the preseason.

Erving would likely look to compete for the swing tackle role or a backup gig along the interior if he were to sign with the Texans. Houston has over $20MM in cap space at the moment, so the team will have the flexibility to add Erving or a number of other veterans looking for a training camp gig in the coming days.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/17/24

Some roster movement today in minor transactions as several teams are starting to add players to early injured lists:

Chicago Bears

  • Placed on active/NFI list: T Kiran Amegadjie
  • Placed on active/PUP list: DT Jamree Kromah

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Seattle Seahawks

There was good news on the Horton front back in May as it was announced that the Texans defender had completed his final treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. As a rookie out of TCU, Horton sat out the final seven games of the 2023 season on the non-football illness list. As he continues to work his way back to the field, it appears he’ll start the summer on the list, as well.

Thompson’s situation in Kansas City also received some good news of late. After suffering a seizure that caused him to go into cardiac arrest in early-June, the Chiefs defender continues to make progress towards a return. He’ll start the summer on the non-football injury list but will continue to work his way back as he continues with medical procedures, per Nate Taylor of The Athletic.

Texans To Sign G Chris Reed, WR Quintez Cephus

Chris Reed has secured a chance at a 10th NFL season, while Quintez Cephus has landed another opportunity with a team following his 2023 gambling suspension. The Texans will greenlight these depth signings.

After Reed played two seasons with the Vikings, KSTP’s Darren Wolfson notes he will land in Houston. Cephus reached an agreement to join a crowded Texans receiving corps, according to his agency. Cephus spent last season out of football but was among the gambling policy violators reinstated earlier this offseason. The Bills initially added Cephus following his reinstatement but cut him soon after.

[RELATED: Texans Sign UFL DE Malik Fisher]

This will mark team No. 6 for Reed, who is now a Titans agreement away from the AFC South cycle. Reed primarily operated as a Vikings backup but has made 30 career starts. He figures to mix in as a competitor for a swing role in Houston, which is returning multiple interior O-linemen after season-ending injuries.

The Panthers used Reed as a 14-game starter in 2020, when he played exclusively at left guard. Reed started six games for the Colts in 2021. He lined up at both guard spots, replacing Quenton Nelson and Mark Glowinski, that year. Reed also made eight starts for the Jaguars from 2016-18; a nomadic path followed.

Reed, who will turn 32 next week, spent most of last season on Minnesota’s reserve/NFI list. He logged all of two offensive snaps in 2023. The Vikings had turned to Reed as an emergency center late in the 2022 season, as Garrett Bradbury rehabbed an injury. The sides reached an agreement on a pay cut to keep the Minnesota State alum in the Twin Cities, but last season brought a clear step back for the ex-UDFA.

The Texans lost Josh Jones (to the Ravens) in free agency but have Kenyon Green and Kendrick Green returning from season-ending maladies. The former, a 2022 first-rounder, may have the inside track to start at left guard opposite the durable Shaq Mason. Kendrick Green, a former Steelers center starter who has not played much since that 2021 season, is in a contract year. Jarrett Patterson, whom Juice Scruggs is expected to supplant at center, also factors into Houston’s LG competition. Reed, who could certainly loom as a potential practice squad insurance option, figures to vie for an interior swing role.

Cephus, 26, was part of 2023’s first wave of players suspended for violating the gambling policy. The ex-Lion was found to have made NFL bets, leading to a full-season suspension. The Bills cut the former Lions role player after a few weeks. Cephus did amass 553 receiving yards between the 2020 and ’21 seasons, but the backup/special-teamer’s career has skidded off track.

The Texans will not have spots for all their notable names at receiver, making this a somewhat interesting addition. In addition to projected starters Stefon Diggs, Nico Collins and Tank Dell, Houston rosters Robert Woods, Noah Brown, 2022 second-rounder John Metchie and trade acquisition Ben Skowronek. Cephus stands to have an uphill battle to make the team’s 53-man roster, and trade rumors figure to impact one or more of the Texans’ backup options.

Texans Sign DE Malik Fisher

One day before the start of their training camp, the Texans have added depth in the front seven. UFL defensive end Malik Fisher has signed with Houston, per an announcement from the spring league.

Fisher went undrafted in the NFL following the 2021 campaign. The Villanova product played with the D.C. Defenders in 2022 and remained with the team last year for the inaugural season of the UFL. Fisher’s rights remain with the Defenders in the event he is unable to land a roster spot with the Texans or another NFL team come the fall.

The 25-year-old was tied for second in the UFL in sacks last season with seven. Fisher added 33 tackles (including seven for loss), one forced fumble and one fumble recovery during the campaign. He will look to translate that success into a strong performance during training camp practices and Houston’s preseason schedule.

The Texans saw Jonathan Greenard depart in free agency when he took a deal with the Vikings. The team did bring in another first-team contributor, though, in the form of Danielle Hunter on a two-year contract including $48MM guaranteed. Last week, Houston retained Jerry Hughes on a one-year deal, providing depth along the edge. Hunter will be joined by Will Anderson as a starter for the Texans, with Hughes and fellow veteran Derek Barnett set to log a rotational role.

Houston also has 2023 fourth-rounder Dylan Horton and seventh-round rookie Solomon Byrd in the fold at the defensive end spot. Fisher will therefore have plenty of competition for reps and a roster spot this summer as he looks to become the latest player to use spring league success as a springboard to an NFL gig. The Texans entered Tuesday with over $20MM in cap space, so they will easily be able to afford what will no doubt be a league minimum flier on Fisher.