Texans Rumors

2019 NFL Cap Space, By Team

With eight days to go before the 2019 trade deadline, here’s a look at the cap space possessed by each team, via ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter):

1. Colts: $43.5M
2. Browns: $32.9M
3. Dolphins: $28M
4. Bills: $24.7M
5. Cowboys: $24M
6. Titans: $23.7
7. Chiefs: $23.1M
8. Raiders: $22.4M
9. Eagles: $22.2M
10. Texans: $21.6M
11. Lions: $18.9M
12. Bears: $17M
13. 49ers: $14.4M
14. Panthers: $14.2M
15. Bengals: $13.6M
16. Redskins: $13.5M
17. Jaguars: $10.3M
18. Broncos: $10M
19. Packers: $9.5M
20. Seahawks: $7.8M
21. Buccaneers: $6.5M
22. Jets: $6.1M
23. Rams: $4.6M
24. Cardinals: $4.1M
25. Chargers: $4.1M
26. Steelers: $3.4M
27. Patriots: $2.5M
28. Giants: $2.2M
29. Ravens: $2.1M
30. Saints: $1.9M
31. Falcons: $1.7M
32. Vikings: $623K

Texans Lose Phillip Gaines For Season

Texans cornerback Phillip Gaines is set to undergo season-ending ankle surgery, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle. Per a source, Gaines will be placed on Injured Reserve after suffering a severe high-ankle sprain in yesterday’s loss to the Colts. The recovery is expected to take five months.

Gaines has been a rotational player since entering the league in 2014. Entering the sixth year of his career, Gaines had yet to start less than three games in a season, but never more than six. Houston had begun using him more prominently as the season went on, starting the team’s previous two games before leaving the game yesterday.

While Gaines was not signed to be a starter, he was called into action once Bradley Roby and Johnathan Joseph went down with injuries. Now down another member of their secondary, the Texans decided to trade a third-round pick in the upcoming draft for Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley earlier today. It appears likely that Conley will step into Gaines’ place in the lineup.

Texans Acquire Gareon Conley From Raiders

Eight days away from this year’s trade deadline, two AFC teams have struck a deal. The Raiders agreed to send cornerback Gareon Conley to the Texans in exchange for a third-round pick, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (on Twitter).

Conley has started every Raiders game this season and will head to a Texans team dealing with injuries at corner. The 2017 first-round pick is signed through the 2020 season and can be controlled through 2021 via fifth-year option. The Ohio State product has started 20 games over the past two seasons, shaking off an injury-marred rookie slate.

And just like the Broncos did when they traded Demaryius Thomas to the Texans last season, the Raiders will see Conley again soon. The Raiders will be in Houston for a Week 8 Texans matchup Sunday.

This marks yet another high 2020 pick the Texans have surrendered, with the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reporting (via Twitter) it’s a 2020 third. The Texans owned the Seahawks’ 2020 third-rounder from the Jadeveon Clowney deal and will send that selection to the Raiders. The Texans traded their 2020 first-rounder in the Laremy Tunsil deal and are likely to send a third-rounder to the Browns for Duke Johnson. Overall, Houston has traded five 2020 or ’21 Day 1 or Day 2 picks since August.

This would stand to leave Houston with only its second-rounder on Days 1-2 of next year’s draft, further committing the current GM-less team to a hopeful deep 2019 playoff run.

This marks an interesting deal between two teams contending in the AFC. Although the Raiders did not fare well in Green Bay on Sunday, they remain 3-3. They have struggled in pass defense this season, with Aaron Rodgers‘ historic day being the most recent such reminder. Oakland also added two corners in this year’s draft — second-rounder Trayvon Mullen and fourth-rounder Isaiah Johnson — and signed Nevin Lawson. Lamarcus Joyner has also worked in the slot as a Raider. Johnson is expected to make his debut soon, and this transaction figures to mean more Mullen snaps going forward.

The Texans have lost Bradley Roby, also an Ohio State-produced first-rounder, and on Sunday saw veteran Johnathan Joseph carted off the field Sunday. They drafted Lonnie Johnson in Round 2, but he has graded as Pro Football Focus’ second-worst cornerback this season. The Texans also placed Phillip Gaines on IR on Monday. The 4-3 team will add Conley to the mix, and he should be set to contribute immediately. PFF has Conley slotted as this year’s No. 82 overall corner. He has four career interceptions, one of which coming this season.

Conley, 24, represents yet another Reggie McKenzie-era first-rounder the Jon Gruden regime has jettisoned. Gruden shipped out Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper in trades last season and has now dealt away McKenzie’s final first-round pick as Raiders GM. Karl Joseph is the last remaining McKenzie first-rounder on the Raiders’ roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Work Out Eli Rogers

The Texans are working out wide receiver Eli Rogers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

One of Houston’s starting wideouts, Will Fuller, left Sunday’s loss to the Colts with a hamstring injury. In a separate report today, Rapoport described the injury as a “rather significant hamstring pull” that is expected to keep Fuller off the field for “several weeks.”

While star DeAndre Hopkins is the undisputed top receiver in Houston, Fuller has been a valuable second option for quarterback Deshaun Watson. Thus far in 2019, Fuller had already amassed 34 receptions for 450 yards and three touchdowns. However, injuries have been a consistent part of the 2016 first-round pick’s career thus far.

Rogers may be the most proven receiver on the free-agent market aside from Antonio Brown. Coincidentally, Rogers also made his name with the Steelers. Pittsburgh signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Louisville in 2016. As a rookie, Rogers started half of the team’s games and made 48 receptions for 594 yards and three touchdowns.

His role faded in 2017 as JuJu Smith-Schuster began emerging opposite of Brown. Then in the playoffs, Rogers tore his ACL and missed almost the entirety of the 2018 season. Unable to reassert himself into Pittsburgh’s rotation, the organization released him in their final roster cuts prior to this season.

He has already had workouts with the Buccaneers and Dolphins, but has yet to sign a contract. Given the significance of Fuller’s role in Houston, a newcomer will not be expected to step into the starting lineup. But, someone with experience, like Rogers, could help make up for the loss.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/20/19

This one actually came on the wire yesterday, but we’re passing it along now.

Houston Texans: 

McGough had been on the active roster, but was released this past week. After clearing waivers, he was quickly re-added to the taxi squad. The FIU product was given a weekly salary that equals his full minimum NFL active roster salary when re-signing to the practice squad, a source told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chroncile (Twitter link). McGough was drafted by the Seahawks in the seventh-round last year, and spent time with the Jags this offseason.

Texans Still Expected To Hire Nick Caserio In 2020

One of the biggest storylines of the spring was the Texans’ pursuit of Patriots exec Nick Caserio. Houston wanted Caserio to be its next GM, but the team backed off when the Patriots threatened to file tampering charges against the Texans (although Houston may have prevailed if it attempted to fight the charges). The two teams could have agreed to a trade for Caserio, but ultimately the Texans chose to go through the 2019 season without a GM.

Caserio’s contract with New England expires after the 2020 draft, so while the Texans wouldn’t have him calling the shots in a draft until 2021, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says Houston still wants Caserio, and Caserio remains intrigued by Houston’s GM post. Although some Patriots beat writers attempted to downplay Caserio’s frustration with how this year’s events unfolded, Caserio himself didn’t do much to conceal his disappointment.

As such, La Canfora says the odds of an extension between Caserio and the Patriots are beyond slim. Caserio has built a strong reputation around the league after serving as Bill Belichick‘s right-hand man in the personnel department for a long time, and he now wants to take command of his own franchise.

He has rebuffed overtures from other clubs for several years, but he has ties to Texans HC Bill O’Brien and executive VP Jack Easterby, and he apparently believes Houston is set up for long-term success. La Canfora says teams other than the Texans will take a run at Caserio again this offseason, but sources close to Caserio believe he is definitely heading to Houston.

Texans Sign OT Chris Clark

The Texans have signed offensive tackle Chris Clark and placed fellow offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson on the non-football injury list, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Houston also waived quarterback Alex McGough.

Clark should be familiar with Houston, as he played from the Texans from 2015-17, starting 37 games during that time. Last season, the now-34-year-old Clark didn’t land a contact until the regular season was already underway, but ended up starting 15 games for the Panthers.

It’s unclear if Clark will be immediately called upon to start for Houston this time around. Incumbent right tackle Tytus Howard went down with a knee injury in Week 6 and will miss time, but he’s expected to return at some point this year. Clark, fellow new signee Dan Skipper, and Roderick Johnson all represent options to play on the right side of the Texans’ offensive line.

Henderson, 27, re-signed with Houston this offseason on a one-year, $1.5MM deal. He began the 2019 campaign as the Texans’ starting right tackle, but was benched after Week 1. Henderson is now dealing with a back injury, tweets Wilson, one that likely occurred away from the football field given that he was placed on NFI.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Former Broncos, Texans QB Brock Osweiler Retires

That’s a wrap for Brock Osweiler. On Wednesday, Osweiler retired as an NFL player, as Mike Klis of 9News writes. 

I’m extremely grateful for the time I did receive playing in the National Football League,’’ Osweiler said. “The experiences I did have, people I did meet, relationships I did make — I’m not going to dwell on the things that didn’t happen in my career. Being a kid from Kalispell, Montana, playing for the Denver Broncos, winning a Super Bowl, having the opportunity to sign a second contract – when you look back on it, I couldn’t be more appreciative. It was great.”

Osweiler will be best remembered for his work in the latter half of the 2015 season as a fill-in for Peyton Manning. Thanks to his 5-2 record, the Broncos were able to finish out as divisional champs and eventually go on to win Super Bowl 50.

Brock was a great teammate,’’ Chris Harris Jr. said to Klis. “He was so huge for us in our Super Bowl run with how well he played when Peyton was injured. There is no way we get to that Super Bowl without Brock.’’

Manning eventually took the job back and Osweiler moved on to the Texans, who gave him a four-year, $72MM deal. Things didn’t go Osweiler’s way in Houston, or in his brief stint with Browns, or in his second Broncos run. Still, he walks away from the game with a Super Bowl ring, lots of money, and enough stories to last ten lifetimes.

There were so many learning moments throughout that year,’’ he said of the Super Bowl season. “Don’t get me wrong, there were hard, trying moments. But the lessons I learned coming out of the season is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve always been a glass half-full guy. The things I will take from that season is I made relationships that will last the rest of my life. I had tremendous teammates. We won a division championship and we won a playoff game.’’

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/16/19

Today’s practice squad moves:

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/19

Here is the latest from the workout circuit:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins