Desmond King

AFC Contract Details: Titans, Jeudy, Browns, Brown, Bengals, Broncos, Bills, Jets, Texans

Here are contract details from some of the latest deals agreed to around the league.

  • Calvin Ridley, WR (Titans). Four years, $92MM. In addition to his $20MM signing bonus, Ridley will see his first two base salaries ($4.5MM, $22,5MM) fully guaranteed. If on Tennessee’s roster by Day 5 of the 2025 league year, Ridley will receive a $3.02MM guarantee for his 2026 base salary ($20.24MM), per OverTheCap. If Ridley remains on Tennessee’s roster by Day 5 of the 2026 league year, he will earn a $1MM bonus. This still stands to give the Titans some 2026 flexibility.
  • Jerry Jeudy, WR (Browns). Three years, $52.5MM. The recently traded wideout’s base value, as expected, checks in lower than the initial numbers. The ex-Denver target will see guarantees into his the deal’s third year, with’s Albert Breer noting $6MM will be guaranteed for 2026. Jeudy received $41MM guaranteed at signing.
  • Curtis Samuel, WR (Bills). Three years, $24MM. The Bills are guaranteeing $5MM of Samuel’s $6.91MM 2025 base salary at signing. The entire ’25 base is guaranteed for injury, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. Samuel will be due a $1MM roster bonus on Day 5 of the 2026 league year; his $6.51MM 2026 salary is nonguaranteed.
  • John Simpson, G (Jets). Two years, $12MM. This number is down a bit from the initial $18MM figure, which is the deal’s max value. Simpson will see $6MM guaranteed,’s Rich Cimini notes. The Jets used three void years to spread out the cap hits; the fifth-year guard is on New York’s books at $3.2MM in 2024.
  • Folorunso Fatukasi, DT (Texans). One year, $5.2MM. The recent Jacksonville cut will receive $4.6MM guaranteed at signing on his Houston pact, Wilson tweets. The Texans tacked two void years onto the veteran nose tackle’s deal.
  • Trent Brown, T (Bengals). One year, $4.75MM. The veteran tackle will receive $2MM guaranteed, with OverTheCap indicating $1MM will be available in per-game roster bonuses with another $250K in play via a workout bonus. A bonus-laden structure is not new for Brown, who had weight clauses in his most recent two Patriots contracts.
  • Solomon Thomas, DL (Jets). One year, $3MM. The Jets are guaranteeing the former No. 3 overall pick $2.5MM, Cimini adds.
  • Mike Edwards, S (Bills). One year, $2.8MM. The former Tampa Bay and Kansas City safety can earn up to $4MM on his Buffalo deal,’s Adam Caplan tweets. He is on the Bills’ cap at $2.8MM.
  • Cody Barton, LB (Broncos). One year, $2.46MM. The Broncos will land the veteran linebacker for more than $1MM cheaper than the Commanders did in 2023. Denver is guaranteeing $2.33MM of the deal, per the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson.
  • Desmond King, CB (Texans). One year, $1.8MM. Veteran slot cornerback/return man’s contract can max out at $2.2MM, Wilson tweets.

Texans Finalizing Deal With CB Desmond King

Taking care of a number of their own pending free agents on Saturday, the Texans are set to have a key member of their defense and special teams in the fold for 2024. Houston is finalizing a new deal with slot corner and returner Desmond King, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports.

[RELATED: Texans Re-Sign Eric Murray]

The one-year King deal will have a base value of $1.8MM with the potential to max out at $2.2MM, Wilson adds. The 29-year-old spent the 2021 and ’22 campaigns in Houston before being part of the team’s final roster cuts ahead of this past season. That led to a brief stint in Pittsburgh, but his lack of usage drove the Steelers to shop him ahead of the trade deadline.

With no takers emerging, King was waived and ultimately re-joined the Texans in November. The Iowa alum started three of seven regular season games upon return, as well as both of the team’s postseason contests. He totaled 64 tackles, two sacks and a pair of pass deflections in that span, proving his continued value to Houston. King logged 15 starts during his first Texans stint, and he will likely remain a key defender in 2024.

The former fifth-rounder also returned eight kicks and one punt in his limited time with Houston in 2023. King earned All-Pro acclaim for his special teams work with the Chargers in 2018, and he has maintained his role as a returner through much of his career. He will aim to improve on his 12.6 yards per return average with respect to kickoffs next season if he maintains his role as Houston’s top returner in 2024.

Houston entered Saturday with nearly $63MM in cap space, leaving plenty of flexibility for when free agency opens next week. The new deals for Murray and King will eat into that total slightly, but they will ensure stability on the backend as the team looks to replicate 2023’s surprise run to the divisional round.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/29/23

Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Tennessee Titans

After missing the Cardinals’ last six games on injured reserve, Wilkinson is now on track to return to his starting left guard post this season. Arizona has used a mixture of Trystan Colon and Carter O’Donnell to fill the spot in the interim.

King found his way to the Texans’ practice squad after being waived by the Steelers and was elevated to game action last week. After starting 25 games for Houston in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, King will be a welcome addition back to the active roster.

Hardee has missed six games with a hamstring injury. The Pro Bowl special teamer returned to practice today alongside quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Schweitzer. Schweitzer was one of several offensive linemen in New York who sustained injuries earlier this year, but after missing the four games required of an IR stint, Schweitzer is working to return, as well.

Texans Activate C Juice Scruggs From IR

NOVEMBER 25: Finally, some good news for the Texans’ interior offensive line. After season-ending injuries to Quessenberry and Kenyon and Kendrick Green, and Patterson, the substitute starter at center, getting carted off with a broken fibula, nearly a month ago, Houston is finally getting some reinforcement. The team announced that they have officially activated Scruggs from injured reserve, allowing the second-round rookie to finally be available to potentially make his NFL debut. Whether or not he plays or starts has yet to be determined. He has only been back at practice since Wednesday and is trying to unseat the team’s fourth option at center, Dieter, who currently ranks as the NFL’s 23rd-best center, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

In order to make room for Scruggs on the active roster, the Texans have waived linebacker Garret Wallow. Wallow spent most of this year on the practice squad after being waived halfway through his rookie contract in the preseason. The former fifth-round pick started five games in his first two seasons but only made an appearance this year when he was promoted to the active roster a week ago. If he clears waivers, Wallow will almost certainly be retained on a practice squad contract.

Lastly, the Texans announced that cornerback Desmond King and wide receiver Steven Sims have been activated from the practice squad as standard gameday elevations for tomorrow’s divisional matchup against the Jaguars. King has appeared in three games this year for the Steelers after spending the past two seasons in Houston as a starter. The Texans brought him back to their p-squad this week. Sims was elevated last week and caught both his targets for 25 yards. Sims also took punt returner duties, fielding two for 16 yards.

NOVEMBER 22: Juice Scruggs has endured a long journey back from the hamstring injury he suffered during the preseason. The second-round Texans draftee has not yet made his NFL debut, despite his injury occurring in the team’s preseason finale.

The Texans have finally designated the Penn State product for return Wednesday, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. Scruggs, who was moving toward being the Texans’ starting center during training camp, now has three weeks to be activated from IR. No activation in that span will make this a true redshirt year for the high-end interior O-line prospect.

Making multiple trades for O-linemen in August, the Texans have also seen long-term injuries affect their front. Projected guard starter Kenyon Green is out for the season, and trade pickup Kendrick Green joins him on season-ending IR. The team’s primary center starter last season, Scott Quessenberry, suffered season-ending injuries — ACL and MCL tears — early during training camp. That paved the way for Scruggs, but his hamstring setback has thus far defined his rookie year.

The Texans will give the No. 62 overall pick a chance to change that soon. Houston has also dealt with center availability issues in-season. Jarrett Patterson started seven games this season, but the sixth-round rookie is on IR after being carted off the field in Week 8. Free agent pickup Michael Deiter resides as option 4 for the Texans; the ex-Dolphins third-rounder has started the past three games at center.

Houston has just two IR activations remaining this season. It stands to reason Scruggs will be given a shot to come back. Though, the 6-4 team is contending for a playoff spot. A key performer going down with a short-term injury now could still be brought back later this season, but the ascending team may need to keep players on the active roster in the event of multiweek injuries going forward. DeMeco Ryans‘ previous team ran into this issue, with the 49ers using all their IR activations during the 2022 regular season.

Scruggs has already needed to overcome obstacles to keep his career going. A 2019 car accident left his playing future in serious doubt. The 6-3, 315-pound blocker earned third-team All-Big Ten honors in 2022, cementing his status as one of the top interior linemen in this year’s class.

Texans Re-Sign CB Desmond King

The Steelers tried to trade Desmond King before the deadline; no deal transpired. This led to Pittsburgh cutting its seldom-used cornerback last month. While no trade taker emerged, King has landed another opportunity.

Dealing with cornerback injuries at many points this season, the Texans will bring back the veteran slot defender. King is back in Houston on a practice squad deal. This agreement comes nearly three months after the Texans released King before setting their initial 53-man roster.

King played in three Steelers games this season, but his contributions came almost entirely on special teams. Used as a kick returner, King saw all of one defensive snap during his Pittsburgh tenure. The Steelers signed King shortly after his Texans release, but the partnership did not prove beneficial. Now, King will return to a team that used him regularly in recent years.

Houston has seen Derek Stingley Jr., Tavierre Thomas, Grayland Arnold and Jimmie Ward miss time this season. Ward, who has played some slot corner despite DeMeco Ryans recruiting him from San Francisco by indicating he would return to a full-time safety role, missed the Texans’ Week 11 matchup. Arnold, who has spent time in the slot as well, is currently on IR. King, 28, will be in position to add some insurance.

While King did not make Ryans’ initial Houston roster, he spent the offseason learning the ex-49ers DC’s system and worked as a defensive regular during the team’s David Culley– and Lovie Smith-coached seasons. King, 28, played 86% of the Texans’ defensive snaps in 2021 and logged a 78% snap share last season. He carries an All-Pro distinction as a slot corner and return man — both honors coming in 2018 when King was with the Chargers — and resides as one of the league’s more experienced slot defenders.

After King played on two rebuilding Texans teams that received minimal attention, he will join a Ryans-led outfit that has started 6-4. Pro Football Focus rated King 20th among corners last season, marking an improvement after early struggles in Smith’s defense. Following that 2021 season, however, the Texans gave King a two-year, $7MM deal. As Nick Caserio has handed out a host of lower-middle-class contracts during his run as Texans GM, King was the recipient of two of those. Both contracts averaged $3.5MM per year. King will attempt to reestablish his value on this lower-cost Houston pact.

Steelers Release CB Desmond King

OCTOBER 18: No trade partner emerged. The Steelers are moving on from the veteran corner via a release,’s Field Yates tweets. This situation came about due to King’s lack of playing time, The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly tweets. The Steelers are the second team to cut King in two months, with a Texans release sending him to Pittsburgh. With the trade deadline Oct. 31, vested veterans are not yet subject to waivers. King, 28, will head back into free agency.

OCTOBER 17: After joining the Steelers in August, it sounds like Desmond King won’t be sticking in Pittsburgh much longer. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that the Steelers plan to move on from the veteran cornerback.

The Steelers are hoping to find a trade partner for King, but Pelissero notes that the team will simply release the veteran if they can’t find a suitor.

After getting cut by the Texans at the end of the preseason, King quickly caught on with the Steelers. While the veteran was expected to provide some veteran depth to the secondary, he barely saw the field through the first month-plus. King has been limited to only three games this season, with only one of his 16 snaps coming on defense.

While the Steelers’ secondary has struggled this year, King clearly had a tough time climbing the depth chart. Chandon Sullivan emerged as the team’s primary nickelback opposite starters Patrick Peterson and Levi Wallace, with rookie second-round pick Joey Porter Jr. soaking up the remaining snaps at the position.

King, a former fifth-round pick, served as mostly a slot corner during his time with the Chargers, but he established himself as a starter on the outside during his two-year stint with the Texans. Between 2021 and 2022, King collected 182 tackles and five interceptions in 25 starts (33 total games). With 98 regular season games on his resume, a DB-needy team will surely come calling.

Pittsburgh isn’t just subtracting a cornerback from their roster. Instead, they’re replacing King with cornerback Darius Rush, who the Steelers are expected to sign off the Chiefs practice squad (per Pelissero). The rookie fifth-round pick was cut by the Colts at the end of the preseason but the Chiefs were quick to claim him off waivers. Kansas City later removed Rush from the active roster and signed him to the practice squad, a move that helped the Steelers to swoop in and snag him.

Steelers To Sign CB Desmond King

Desmond King did not make the Texans’ 53-man roster, but the veteran cornerback will have another opportunity soon. The Steelers are expected to add King, Ian Rapoport of tweets. The sides have agreed on a one-year deal, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The Steelers will be a fourth team for King. The former Chargers UDFA and All-Pro has spent his career in Los Angeles, Tennessee and Houston. King has spent much of his career in the slot. The Steelers added veteran slot defender Chandon Sullivan this offseason, but it looks like they will bring in more help.

This would require a roster move, as the Steelers set their 53-man squad Tuesday. But teams will be making a host of veteran additions today, as players are moved to IR. In order for players to be eligible for in-season activations from IR, teams must carry them through to their 53-man roster and then shift them to the injured list.

While teams often use post-cutdown-day IR moves to re-sign vested veterans they recently cut, veterans released by other clubs factor into equations as well. King, 28, is a six-year vet who started 25 games for the Texans from 2021-22. Pro Football Focus viewed King’s 2022 season fondly, slotting him 20th overall among corners. King’s value as a tackler helped produce that placement; the Detroit native finished with a career-high (by a substantial margin) 10 tackles for loss last year.

The Steelers obviously go into the season with bigger goals compared to the Texans, who have produced four-, four- and three-win seasons in the 2020s. But Houston is transitioning to a new defensive scheme under DeMeco Ryans. The rebuilding AFC South team is planning to use the recently re-signed Tavierre Thomas in the slot, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets, with Grayland Arnold in that mix as well.

King, who was attached to a two-year deal worth $7MM in Houston, played more than 900 defensive snaps in each of the past two seasons. The ex-Charger UDFA has also contributed regularly as a punt returner. He earned first-team All-Pro honors as both a slot corner and punt returner in 2018. Although King has not operated in a return capacity in each of his NFL seasons, he has done so frequently — including over the past two years with the Texans. King returned punts for touchdowns in 2018 and ’19.

Texans Set 53-Man Roster

The Texans are in the midst of a rebuild, but that doesn’t make their roster decisions any easier. The organization ultimately settled on 53 players today:




Placed on reserve/PUP:

Three veteran tight ends were let go in Mason Schreck, Eric Tomlinson, and Nick Vannett. Vannett has the most epxerience of the bunch, having seen time in 86 career games. He spent the 2022 seasons with the Giants and Saints, hauling in six catches. Tomlinson has appeared in 85 career games, including 34 over the past two seasons. He started 12 of his 17 appearances for Denver in 2022, serving mostly as an extra blocker.

Adam Humphries was an 800-yard receiver with the Buccaneers in 2018, but he’s compiled only 985 yards in three years since. He didn’t get into a game during the 2022 season, but he did haul in 41 catches for Washington in 2021.

Texans To Release LB Christian Kirksey, CB Desmond King, TE Nick Vannett

7:50pm: Nick Vannett joined King and Kirksey in not making the Texans’ 53-man roster, per KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson. The Texans signed the veteran in early August. Teams frequently release veterans on the bubble to protect younger players from reaching the waiver wire. Vested vets’ contracts becoming guaranteed just before Week 1 also factors into cuts at this time of the year, but as of now, Houston will be without this experienced trio.

3:45pm: Wilson reports that another notable veteran has received his walking papers from Houston in the form of cornerback Desmond King. The 28-year-old, like Kirksey, spent the past two years with the Texans. King started 25 games with the team, collecting five interceptions and 14 pass deflections, making him a name to watch with respect to potential interest from other teams in need of secondary depth. His release will yield $3MM in cap savings.

2:52pm: Another veteran has found themselves on the outside of roster-building decisions. The Texans are releasing linebacker Christian Kirksey, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

The soon-to-be 31-year-old had been in Houston over the past two years. Kirksey signed a one-year deal to join the Texans in 2021, then a two-year pact the following offseason. He was due to carry a cap hit of $6.25MM this year, but by parting ways with him the Texans will save all but $1MM of that amount.

Kirksey proved himself to be a capable starter during his time with the Browns and Packers before heading to Houston. He played 789 snaps in 2021, then a career-high 1,141 last season while collecting over 100 tackles for the third time in his NFL tenure. The former third-rounder operated as one of the team’s captains as one of the few veterans entrenched within an otherwise young roster. It will be interesting to see how willing the Texans are to bring him back at a reduced rate, or if they will proceed with their other LB options.

Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 notes that free agent addition Denzel Perryman eclipsed Kirksey (who had been dealing with a hamstring injury for much of the offseason) on the depth chart, making today’s move an easier one to go through with given its financial benefits. Houston also has Cory Littleton in place as a veteran, and the team has drafted an Alabama ‘backer (Christian Harris and Henry To’oTo’o) in each of the past two years. That new corps at the second level will aim to deliver an improvement on defense this season under new head coach DeMeco Ryans.

In addition to Kirksey, offensive lineman Rashaad Coward is among the Texans’ Monday cuts, Wilson adds. Coward has logged 18 starts across 38 regular season games with the Bears, Steelers and Cardinals. He signed in Houston earlier this month amidst the team’s injury concerns up front, especially at right tackle. The Texans swung a deal with Arizona for Josh Jones last week, though. Coward will now head to another new home via waivers if claimed, or he can remain with Houston if the team elects to place him on the practice squad.

Restructure Details: Brockers, Butker, Clark

Here’s a roundup of a few recent contract restructures:

  • Michael Brockers, DT (Lions): Detroit converted $4MM of Brockers’ 2022 base salary into a signing bonus, which opened up $2MM of cap room, as Field Yates of tweets. Brockers signed a three-year, $24MM deal with the Lions in March 2021, and he appeared in 16 games (all starts) in his first year in the Motor City. However, he recorded just one sack and earned an abysmal 40.6 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
  • Harrison Butker, K (Chiefs): Butker injured his ankle in Kansas City’s Week 1 win over the Cardinals and missed the club’s Week 2 victory over the Chargers as a result. According to Yates, Butker agreed to convert $2.19MM of his 2022 base salary into a signing bonus, thereby giving KC an additional $1.46MM of cap room (Twitter link). Butker is signed through 2024 and is the league’s 10th-highest-paid kicker by measure of AAV.
  • Chuck Clark, S (Ravens): There are no specifics on this one, though Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets that Baltimore gave Clark a bit of a raise this year and also added some incentives to his deal. The Ravens doled out a big-ticket free agent contract to safety Marcus Williams in March and selected Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton in the first round of the draft, and Clark subsequently requested a trade. However, it eventually became clear that Clark would continue to play a prominent role on the defense in 2022, and in the team’s Week 1 victory over the Jets, the Virginia Tech product played in all 84 defensive snaps and tallied eight tackles and a forced fumble while continuing to wear the green dot. He is under club control through 2023 and was slated to earn $1.25MM in base pay this year. Per Zrebiec, this transaction represents a show of appreciation for how Clark handled himself this offseason.
  • Desmond King, DB (Texans): The Texans have converted $911K of King’s 2022 salary into a signing bonus, thereby creating $455K of cap space (Twitter link via Yates). King re-signed with Houston this offseason after appearing in 16 games (12 starts) for the club in 2021 and posting 93 tackles to go along with three interceptions. His two-year contract is worth $7MM.