Houston Texans Rumors & News

David Quessenberry Returns To Practice

  • Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry returned to the practice field Tuesday for the first time since being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in June 2014, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The 2013 sixth-round pick was set to enter his second season before the diagnosis temporarily derailed his life and career. Fortunately, Quessenberry went into remission in 2015 and then wrapped up his chemotherapy treatment this past April.

Texans’ Duane Brown Pushing For New Deal

Duane Brown was not present for the Texans’ voluntary organized team activities today because he is pushing for a reworked contract, sources tell Aaron Wilson of The Houston ChronicleDuane Brown (vertical)

[RELATED: Texans’ Derek Newton Accepts Pay Cut]

Brown has two years to go on the six-year, $53.4MM contract extension that began with the 2013 season. Right now, he’s due non-guaranteed base salaries of $9.65MM and $9.75MM in each of the next two seasons. After four consecutive quality seasons, a case can be made that Brown deserves to have some of his future money guaranteed as a part of a contract extension.

Still, teams typically are reluctant to rework contracts when there are two years to go for fear of setting a precedent with other players. Unless Brown is willing to stay away from the Texans during mandatory camp, he probably won’t get far with his demands.

Brown missed four games last season thanks to a torn quadriceps muscle. In the five years prior to that, however, he missed only four regular season games in total.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans’ Derek Newton Accepts Pay Cut

Texans offensive tackle Derek Newton has restructured his contract, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle writes. Newton has already been ruled out for 2017 thanks to torn patellar tendons suffered during the 2016 season. Now, he’ll remain with the team at an adjusted rate while he rehabs. Derek Newton (Vertical)

The deal will lower Newton’s base salaries in each of the next three seasons. Newton was originally due $4.75MM in base salaries each year, but he’ll now get a base of just $1.75MM this year (guaranteed) and $2.25MM (non-guaranteed) in 2018 and 2019.

for 2018, 2018 and 2019. Newton is now due a guaranteed $1.75 million base salary this year and non-guaranteed base salaries of $2.25 million and $2 million in 2018 and 2019. Newton is now looking at a three-year, $10MM deal over the next three years the rest of the way in a modification of his original five-year, $26.5MM deal inked in 2015. If the contract plays out in full, he’ll carry salary cap figures of $3MM in 2017, $5.5MM in 2018, and $3.75MM in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cecil Shorts III Eyeing 2018 Return

After suffering a series of gruesome knee injuries last year, Cecil Shorts III won’t be able to take the field in 2017, he tells SiriusXM (on Twitter). He’ll take the year off and work towards an NFL return in 2018. Cecil Shorts III (vertical)

Shorts suffered a torn ACL, MCL, and PCL along with a dislocated knee midway through his season with the Buccaneers. That was just the latest setback for Shorts who missed 19 regular season games between 2011 and 2015. Shorts managed to gut his way through some hamstring issues, but this is the toughest challenge he has ever faced.

Even before the injury last winter, Shorts wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire. In nine games, he had just eleven catches for 152 yards.

Shorts will turn 30 in December, so he’ll be looking to get back into football on the verge of his age-31 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Make Front Office Changes

  • As expected, the Texans have added ex-Colts executive Jimmy Raye III to their front office. Raye will serve as the Texans’ vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com was among those to report. He’s replacing Brian Gaine, who left Houston for Buffalo earlier this week. Additionally, the club has tabbed Rob Kisiel as its director of pro personnel and Mike Martin as its assistant director of college scouting.

Texans Expected To Hire Jimmy Raye III

The Texans will likely hire former Colts executive Jimmy Raye III to replace Brian Gaine as director of player personnel, according to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link).Texans Helmet (Vertical)

Raye, who had worked with Indianapolis since 2013, served as the Colts’ interim general manager following the firing of Ryan Grigson and preceding the hiring of Chris Ballard. While he was at one point considered the favorite for the GM position, Raye was forced out of a job after Ballard was added. Raye was a candidate for the 49ers’ general manager gig in 2017, and in the running for the Titans’ top job in 2016.

Replacing Gaine could be a tall task, as Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reported yesterday that Gaine was an integral part of Houston’s front office. Gaine reportedly served as a liaison between the Texans’ management and coaching staff, a critical role in an organization where decision-makers haven’t always “been on the same page.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vince Wilfork Unsure About Retirement

After the Patriots knocked Vince Wilfork‘s Texans out of the playoffs, the defensive tackle indicated that he was likely done with football. Four months later, Wilfork has yet to make his retirement official. That’s because the veteran is still on the fence about whether he wants to continue playing. Vince Wilfork

Right now I am not retired,” Wilfork told SiriusXM (on Twitter). “I’m not saying I’m retired. It’s something I want to make sure I’m 100% certain about.”

To date, Wilfork has put in 13 years in the NFL and he can probably leave the game without any regrets if this is in fact the end of the line. The 35-year-old has two Super Bowl rings thanks to his 11-year stint with the Patriots and he was one of the best interior defensive linemen in the game during his prime. Although he had only 16 career sacks, the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus show that he was among the game’s elite between 2006 and 2012. Once he’s eligible, it seems likely that Wilfork will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

With all of that said, it’s not clear what Wilfork can offer in 2017. Last year, he ranked 84th amongst PFF’s 127 qualified defensive tackles. It’s not clear if the Texans or Patriots would have a place for Wilfork, so continuing his career might mean joining up with a third squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Could Struggle To Replace Brian Gaine

  • The Texans could find it difficult to replace executive Brian Gaine, whom the Bills hired as vice president of player personnel on Monday, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com details. Gaine had acted as something of a liaison between Houston’s coaching staff and front office, a critical role in an organization where decision-makers haven’t always “been on the same page,” per Breer. In Buffalo, Gaine will oversee the Bills’ pro and college scouting departments.

Texans Sign OT Breno Giacomini

The Texans signed offensive tackle Breno Giacomini, according to a team announcement. In related news, Houston also added three undrafted free agents: Akron cornerback Bryce Jones, Wisconsin running back Dare Ogunbowale, and Florida wide receiver Chris Thompson. To make room, tackle Dimitric Camiel, running back Kenny Hilliard, wide receiver Tevin Jones, and safety T.J. Mutcherson were cut loose. Breno Giacomini (vertical)

[RELATED: Bills Hire Brian Gaine Away From Texans]

Giacomini, 32 in September, figures to fill in for right tackle Derek Newton who has been ruled out for the year with torn patellar tendons in both knees. The Texans added Julien Davenport in the fourth round of this year’s draft and they have Chris Clark as a right tackle option, but Giacomini has both players beat in terms of experience. Last year, Clark graded out as one of the six worst tackles in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Jets released Giacomini in a long-expected cap clearing move this offseason. He was slated to count for $5.1MM against the cap, but the Jets saved lopped $4.5MM off of that obligation by cutting him. Last year, injuries limited the veteran to just 266 total snaps. He did not see enough action to qualify for ranking, but his 44.3 overall score from PFF would have placed him among the 15 worst tackles in the NFL and roughly in the same boat as Clark.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lechler To Earn $500K Signing Bonus

  • In moving from the Texans to the Bills, Brian Gaine made a lateral move in Brandon Beane‘s eyes. As Bills VP of player personnel, Gaine will oversee the Bills’ pro and college scouting departments while reporting directly to Beane, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports. Beane, of course, beat out Gaine for the Buffalo GM job. But the New York native saw enough in the Bills’ offer to move over from a similar job with what’s been a more successful franchise to the franchise with the longest active postseason drought among American major pro sports teams.
  • Speaking of the Texans, Shane Lechler‘s 2017 deal will contain a $500K signing bonus, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. The 40-year-old punter re-signed with Houston for $2MM this year and doesn’t sound like retirement is especially close. This will be his 18th season. Despite being regarded as one of the greatest punters in NFL history, Lechler at this point is a middle-of-the-pack player in terms of salary. He’ll be making $200K more than last season.