Texans Rumors

Latest On Potential Jadeveon Clowney Extension

There has been much talk this offseason about the Texans and Jadeveon Clowney agreeing to a long-term deal before his rookie contract runs up after next season. Texans general manager Brian Gaine somewhat affirmed those reports Friday.

The Texans took Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft and he’s due to make $12 million next season as part of his fifth-year option. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported earlier this month that the deal was still viewed as an “eventuallity,” though it’s not imminent.

Brian Gaine Not Planning In-Season Re-Ups

AFC South Rumors: Colts, Texans, Draft

Could the Colts move back yet again in the first round? Colts GM Chris Ballard won’t rule out trading the No. 6 pick.

We will be open to moving back if we think it is the right thing for us to do and there’s enough players on the board, depending on how far we have to move back, that we feel comfortable taking,” the GM said (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).

The Colts already have extra ammo in the draft thanks to their swap with the Jets. In exchange for moving down from No. 3 to No. 6, the Colts now own three picks in the second round – their original selection at No. 36, plus picks at No. 37 and No. 49.

Here’s more from the AFC South:

Cardinals To Sign CB Marcus Williams

The Cardinals have signed cornerback Marcus Williams, according to Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic (on Twitter). Williams finished the 2017 season with the Texans. 

Williams started 15 games in three seasons with the Jets, but did not start a contest in 2017. The Jets shopped him last summer and later waived him in October, leading him to Houston. With the Texans, he appeared in ten games as a reserve and totaled 12 tackles, four pass deflections, and came up with an interception against the Seahawks in a late October game. His most notable season came in 2015 when he tallied six interceptions in 13 games with Gang Green.

Williams will now fight for a reserve job on a cornerback depth chart that is presently headlined by Patrick Peterson and Brandon Williams. If the Cardinals can land an impact cornerback early in the draft, they’ll likely have a rookie starting opposite of P2. Other reserve corners in Arizona include C.J. Goodwin, Ronald Zamort, Jonathan Moxey, Jarell Carter, and free agent pickups Bene Benwikere and Louis Young.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Could Still Re-Sign RB Alfred Blue

Alfred Blue remains on the free agent market, but the Texans remain open to a return. The door is not closed on the running back, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets, as the team looks to improve its depth in the backfield. 

The Texans will start Lamar Miller at running back, but there are question marks further down on the depth chart, particularly with rising sophomore D’Onta Foreman recovering from a torn Achilles. As a No. 3 or No. 4 RB, Blue would offer occasional relief for both players while also pitching in on special teams.

Blue, 27 in April, did his best work in 2015 when he rushed for 698 yards in nine starts for Houston. The addition of Miller reduced his role, however, and he was decidedly less effective last year. In 2017, Blue played on 21% of the Texans’ offensive snaps but managed only 3.7 yards per carry.

Things have been fairly quiet for Blue in recent months, though he has reportedly heard from multiple teams, including the Steelers. At this stage, Blue probably won’t sign with the Texans or any other club until after the draft when teams have a better idea of what they already have in-house.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/16/2018

Here are today’s minor moves:

Denver Broncos

  • Re-signed: LB Zaire Anderson
  • Re-signed: DE Shelby Harris
  • Re-signed: LB Joseph Jones
  • Re-signed: WR Jordan Taylor
  • Re-signed: OT Elijah Wilkinson

Houston Texans

  • Signed original round RFA tender: OL Greg Mancz

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed original round RFA tender: LB Matt Longacre

Washington Redskins

  • Re-signed: OT Tony Bergstrom

Panthers Claim QB Taylor Heinicke

The Panthers picked up quarterback Taylor Heinicke off waivers. The QB was cut by the Texans on Friday. 

Heinicke, 25, threw his only NFL pass to date in a 34-6 loss to the Steelers last year. The Old Dominion product hasn’t made much noise over the last three years with the Vikings, Patriots, or Texans, but he’ll look to stick on the Panthers’ roster as a backup to Cam Newton.

For now, Newton, Garrett Gilbert, and Heinicke are the only three QBs on Carolina’s roster. At the owner’s meetings, coach Ron Rivera indicated that veteran Derek Anderson could still be re-signed to serve as Newton’s primary backup.

We’re looking for a guy that can eventually be the No. 2 guy for a long time,” Rivera said “We’re looking for that next guy, not necessarily to replace Derek but to come in and be ready to eventually replace him.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Claim TE Matt Lengel

The Texans have been awarded tight end Matt Lengel off of waivers from the Browns. In order to make room, the team cut quarterback Taylor Heinicke

Lengel was one of seven players dropped by Cleveland on Thursday, along with tight end Gavin Escobar, linebacker Max Bullough, defensive back C.J. Smith, wide receivers Bug Howard and Larry Pinkard, and running back Kelvin Taylor. Smith also found a new home on Friday after being claimed by the Broncos.

Lengel, 27, first entered the league as a UDFA with the Bengals in 2015. In 2016, he hooked on with the Patriots where he caught his only NFL touchdown to date. Last year, he was waived/injured by the Pats and found his way to the Browns practice squad. He earned a promotion midway through the year and saw time in a December loss to the Bears.

There’s an opportunity for Lengel to make the Texans’ final cut. He joins a TE group that presently includes Stephen Anderson, Ryan Malleck, MyCole Pruitt, Ryan Malleck, and Jevoni Robinson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Rumors: Watson, Martin, Mathieu

Despite tearing an ACL in November, Deshaun Watson looks like he’ll have some involvement in the Texans‘ offseason program. The one-time offensive rookie of the year favorite is ahead of schedule in his recovery process, just as Bill O’Brien anticipated he would be coming into the offseason program, James Palmer of NFL.com reports (video link). Watson will be throwing some during the offseason. Although Watson is currently working out in a brace on the injured knee, Palmer notes the second-year quarterback may not have to wear a brace once he returns to game action. The former national championship-winning passer will not participate in the team portions of the Texans’ OTAs but will throw during the seven-on-seven and passing portions of the workouts, per Palmer.

Here’s the latest out of Houston.

  • The Texans are considering moving center Nick Martin to guard, Palmer reports. The third-year player started in 14 Texans games at center last season, his first as a healthy NFLer after he missed all of his would-be rookie year due to injury. Having reached an agreement with another former Chiefs offensive lineman in Zach Fulton, it’s possible the Texans could slide Martin to guard and Fulton to center — where he played at times in Kansas City. O’Brien said as many as four new starters could be set to block for Watson this coming season. Senio Kelemete and Seantrel Henderson are now in the fold as well. Houston’s highest-paid lineman remains Jeff Allen, who has not lived up to the $7MM-per-year deal he signed in 2016. Martin’s brother, Zack, of course, is arguably the best guard in the game.
  • Tyrann Mathieu may be gradually pushed into a versatile position with his new team. Palmer notes the Texans plan to initially just play him at safety but do want him working at cornerback and as a blitzer. This hybrid job description helped Mathieu to an All-Pro perch in 2015 and a then-record safety contract before another injury sidetracked him and eventually re-routed him to Houston.
  • Joe Webb will make $915K in base salary and will carry a $720K cap figure this season, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. The wide receiver/quarterback received a $90K signing bonus.
  • Defensive lineman Christian Covington has been fully cleared after his torn biceps injury in October ended his 2017 season, per Wilson. Covington started two games last season and played in seven, doing so after making five starts in 2016.
  • The Texans released right tackle Derek Newton earlier on Thursday and did so with a failed physical designation, Wilson tweets. Newton had not played since October 2016, when he sustained two severe knee injuries on one play.

Texans Release OT Derek Newton

The Texans have informed right tackle Derek Newton that he is being released, Mike Jones of USA Today tweets. His business with Houston isn’t necessarily finished, however, as he’ll be filing a grievance to recoup his roster bonus. 

Per the terms of his deal, Newton was due to receive a $500K roster bonus from the team on April 1. For now, Houston is refusing to pay that out, even though a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews ruled that he could take part in next week’s workouts.

Newton started in all 16 games for Houston in in 2013, 2014, and 2015 before tearing both patellar tendons in 2016 and missing all of 2017. Newton wasn’t rated favorably by Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) during his first two years as a starter, but his stats improved as he turned a corner in 2014. He was PFF’s top-ranked right tackle in run blocking in 2014 and went on to crack the top-25 in pass blocking in 2015.

From 2012-2016, Newton played on 4,473 snaps for the Texans. That was good for the second-most in Houston over that span, second only to left tackle Duane Brown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.