Nick Martin

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 Activate OL David Quessenberry

In one of the more inspiring stories of the NFL season, the Texans have promoted offensive tackle and cancer survivor David Quessenberry from their practice squad to their active roster. In a series of other moves, Houston also promoted safety Ibraheim Campbell and defensive tackle Jarrod Clements while placing center Nick Martin, tight end MyCole Pruitt, and defensive tackle D.J. Reader on injured reserve.David Quessenberry (Vertical)

Quessenberry, 27, spent more than three years on the Texans’ non-football injury list after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June 2014. After an amazing battle that was recently well-documented by Robert Klemko of TheMMQB.com, Quessenberry completed his treatment earlier this year. He’s spent the entirety of the 2017 campaign on Houston’s practice squad.

Although he has yet to appear in an NFL game, Quessenberry could potentially see action for the Texans during the final two games of the regular season. Houston currently has just two offensive tackles on its roster, and neither Kendall Lamm nor Breno Giacomini has been impressive. Theoretically, the Texans could give Quessenberry — a 2013 sixth-round pick out of San Jose State — a two-game audition to close the year.

Martin, meanwhile, will close his second NFL campaign after suffering a “serious” ankle injury, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. A second-round pick in 2016, Martin also missed his entire rookie season after breaking his ankle. This year, Martin played nearly 1,000 offensive snaps in the middle of the Texans’ line but graded as a bottom-10 center, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Down To 78 On Roster

The Texans announced additional roster moves this afternoon, bringing their total count to 78 players on the roster. Here is a full rundown of all of their moves thus far today, including those disclosed earlier in the day:

Released:

  • DT Ra’Zahn Howard
  • WR Tevin Jones
  • LB Ryan Langford
  • WR Josh Lenz
  • OT Matt Pierson
  • LB Carlos Thompson
  • OT Arturo Uzdavinis

Injured Reserve:

  • S Kurtis Drummond
  • K Ka’imi Fairbairn
  • C Nick Martin (story)

PUP List:

Texans C Nick Martin Out For Season

Texans center Nick Martin recently underwent ankle surgery from Dr. Robert Anderson in North Carolina and is expected to miss the 2016 season, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweetsNick Martin (vertical)

The injury is a big blow to the Texans who were banking on Martin to start for them in 2016. For now, Toledo product Greg Mancz is slated to take that spot. Mancz spent his rookie season on IR with a knee injury that required surgery. The good news is that the reviews on him so far have been positive.

Recently, in a PFR exclusive, scouting guru Dave-Te Thomas wrote that he was high on Martin and optimistic about what he could do as a rookie:

Martin is a vast upgrade from the Texans’ previous snapper, Ben Jones, who is no longer with the team. He’s already formed a good bond with Brock Osweiler and should join the Colts’ first round pick, Ryan Kelly, as immediate starters at center for their respective teams. Martin’s arrival will see newly signed Jeff Allen slide into the right guard spot vacated by Brandon BrooksGreg Mancz and Tony Bergstrom were hoping to compete for the pivot spot after Jones left, but both now vie for second unit duties.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Pick Signings: Jags, Texans, Jets, Bills

The 2016 NFL draft wrapped up less than two weeks ago, and already nearly 70% of the players selected in the draft have signed their rookie contracts. We have a few more draftees to add to that list, so let’s dive in and round up the latest updates on draft pick signings…

  • No. 36 overall pick Myles Jack has formally signed his rookie contract with the Jaguars, the team announced today. Jack, who was initially viewed as a potential top-10 pick, will be in line for a rookie deal worth $6.334MM, with a $2.807MM signing bonus, according to Over the Cap.
  • The Texans have wrapped up their deal with second-round center Nick Martin, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Martin figures to step in for former center Ben Jones, who departed Houston for the division-rival Titans in free agency.
  • The Jets announced today that they’ve officially signed third-round outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, as Randy Lange of NewYorkJets.com details. That leaves first-round linebacker Darron Lee as the only Gang Green draft pick who remains unsigned.
  • The Bills continue to work backwards through their draftees — after signing their two sixth-round picks, the Bills have now locked up fifth-round running back Jonathan Williams, according to the team’s website.
  • The Broncos now have two more draft picks under contract, signing third-round safety Justin Simmons and fourth-round running back Devontae Booker to their four-year rookie deals, per Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link).

Texans Acquire No. 50 Pick From Falcons

The Texans have moved up two spots in the draft, acquiring the 50th overall pick from the Falcons, tweets Jenna Laine. Upon moving from No. 52 to No. 50, the Texans selected Notre Dame center Nick Martin, according to Laine (Twitter link). In addition to receiving the 52nd pick, the Falcons acquired No. 195, reports D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).

For the Texans, the addition of Martin should help make up for the loss of Ben Jones in free agency. Jones started 32 straight regular-season games for the Jets the previous two years before signing with the division-rival Titans. The Texans certainly hope Nick Martin will be anywhere near as effective as his brother, Cowboys two-time Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin.