John Metchie

Texans WR John Metchie III Making Strides In Recovery

Rookie second-round pick John Metchie III knew he faced a long road to his NFL debut after tearing his ACL in last year’s SEC title game. Little did he know he would be faced with a much larger challenge as he prepared for his big return. Metchie’s diagnosis of Acute Promyelocytic Luekemia would hold him out of training camp, the preseason, and his entire rookie season. Fortunately, the long road appears to be winding down as Texans general manager Nick Caserio announced that Metchie has made “amazing” progress, according to Texans TV Host Drew Dougherty.

Caserio hinted that Metchie’s return could come as soon as April. “I’d say there’s a chance that he’ll be ready for the start of the offseason program,” Caserio told Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast on SportRadio 610 this week. Since the Texans, who fired Lovie Smith this week, will have a new head coach in 2023, they will get to begin their offseason conditioning program two weeks before teams with returning head coaches. That means Metchie could be back working out with the team as soon as April 3.

“I think there are still some things that he has to complete or go through,” Caserio continued. “Quite frankly, it’s amazing what he’s done to this point…He actually looks better now than he did when we drafted him in the spring. He’s improved his strength. He’s improved his lower body strength. His attitude has been great, even though he’s been dealing with a lot of things medically.”

While Metchie had originally described his APL as the most curable form of the disease in the statement announcing his diagnosis, it’s still great news to hear that he’s coming back on the other side of it stronger than he started. After a long, hard road, Metchie’s NFL debut is back on track.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/23/22

Tuesday marked the day teams were forced to cut down from 85 to 80 players. Here are the moves teams made made to reach the new maximum. Players who land on the reserve/PUP or reserve/NFI list must miss at least the first four regular-season games.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/24/22

Here are today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Sloter just took a visit with the Jaguars on Saturday, and he did enough to land a contract. He has been a member of a number of NFL practice squads since signing with the Broncos as a UDFA in 2017, but he has yet to appear in a regular season NFL game. In nine starts for the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers in 2022, he was not especially impressive, completing 57.7% of his passes for 1,798 yards while throwing only nine touchdowns against 11 interceptions. With three other QBs on the Jacksonville roster, Sloter appears to be simply replacing Perry as a camp body at this point.

Texans WR John Metchie III To Miss 2022 Season

Texans wide receiver John Metchie III, a second-round rookie, will miss the 2022 season, but it has nothing to do with the torn ACL he suffered in this year’s SEC title game. Unfortunately, the Alabama product has been diagnosed with leukemia.

Metchie released a statement indicating that the diagnosis is Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, which he says is the most curable form of the disease. He added that he is in good spirits and expects to make a full recovery, but that he will not be playing football this year.

Although the Texans knew that the ACL tear would quite possibly force Metchie to miss time in his rookie campaign, it was expected that he would be able to suit up at some point this season. Indeed, the club was comfortable enough with his medicals to trade away pick nos. 68, 108, and 124 to move up the board and nab Metchie with the No. 44 overall selection.

In 13 games in his final collegiate season, Metchie posted 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight scores. Whenever he was medically cleared, he was expected to serve as Houston’s primary slot receiver and as a high-upside weapon for second-year QB Davis Mills. At present, the Texans’ WR depth chart is topped by Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins, but the options behind those two are fairly uninspiring.

Now, Metchie and Houston can only hope that 2023 will bring better fortune. We here at PFR wish Metchie the best in his recovery.

Texans Finish Signing 2022 Draft Class

The Texans wrapped up their nine-man draft class today when they were able to reach an agreement with third-round pick Christian Harris. The Power Five-heavy class includes a plethora of Day 1 and 2 picks and brings home three Houston-natives in guard Kenyon Green, safety Jalen Pitre, and offensive lineman Austin Deculus

The Texans started their haul with four selections in the 2022 NFL Draft’s first 44 picks. Their first addition was cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., who will immediately improve a group that currently includes Steven Nelson, Lonnie Johnson Jr., and Desmond King II. The Texans’ secondary struggled greatly at times last year, and defensive-coordinator-turned-head-coach Lovie Smith decided that addressing that weakness was a top priority. Their addition of Pitre in the second round further addresses that need. While listed as a safety, Pitre spent the majority of his career with the Bears in the slot. Whether at safety or slot cornerback, Pitre is a strong addition alongside Stingley to a struggling defense.

Green was the next selection, midway through the first round, and his ability to play on the inside of the line should allow Houston to establish Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard at the tackle positions. The later addition of the swing tackle, Deculus, continued the Texans’ efforts at improving the protection in front of second-year quarterback Davis Mills.

In terms of weapons for Mills, after extending leading receiver Brandin Cooks, Houston added another weapon in slot receiver John Metchie III. The Alabama alum tore his ACL in December, but is assumed to be ready to return to the field sometime this summer.

From there, Houston added linebacker Christian Harris, who is a menace in opposing teams’ backfields. They followed that by addressing a league-worst 3.4 yards per rush and 8 rushing touchdowns by bringing in Gator running back Dameon Pierce. Thomas Booker adds some depth to the defensive line. Teagan Quitoriano will compete to back up second-year tight end Brevin Jordan with Pharaoh Brown and Antony Auclair.

Here are the draft picks the Texans will take into camps this summer:

Round 1: No. 3 Derek Stingley Jr., CB (LSU) (signed)
Round 1: No. 15 Kenyon Green, G (Texas A&M) (signed)
Round 2: No. 37 Jalen Pitre, S (Baylor) (signed)
Round 2: No. 44 John Metchie III, WR (Alabama) (signed)
Round 3: No. 75 Christian Harris, LB (Alabama) (signed)
Round 4: No. 107 Dameon Pierce, RB (Florida) (signed)
Round 5: No. 150 Thomas Booker, DT (Stanford) (signed)
Round 5: No. 170 Teagan Quitoriano, TE (Oregon State) (signed)
Round 6: No. 205 Austin Deculus, OL (LSU) (signed)

Only Six Unsigned First-Rounders Remain; Round 2 Guarantees Rising

First-round picks are signing their rookie deals at a much quicker pace than they did last year. While the slot system implemented in 2011 has removed much of the difficulty in teams getting their top draftees signed, players are gaining some noticeable ground this year.

Twenty-six of this year’s first-round picks have signed their four-year rookie deals, which feature fifth-year options. Charles Cross (No. 9 overall, Seahawks), Kyle Hamilton (No. 14, Ravens), Zion Johnson (No. 17, Chargers), Kenny Pickett (No. 20, Steelers), Tyler Linderbaum (No. 25, Ravens) and Cole Strange (No. 29, Patriots) are the only remaining unsigned first-rounders.

At this point last year, only seven first-rounders had signed. In 2020, an offseason that featured no in-person workouts, only two had inked their rookie pacts, via CBS Sports’ Joel Corry. While most of the top 2022 draftees are moving forward with their teams’ offseason programs after having received fully guaranteed contracts, second-rounders are suddenly in the spotlight.

Only eight second-rounders have signed, with only 14 third-round picks doing so. Language in third-rounders’ deals annually causes delays, but the second-round slowdown is new. Guarantee pushes are responsible, and the Texans are complicating other teams’ blueprints. Texans safety Jalen Pitre, the 37th overall pick, received three years fully guaranteed on his slot deal ($8.95MM). John Metchie, Houston’s No. 44 overall choice, received two years fully guaranteed and 56% of his third year guaranteed, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes. That creates a murky range for agents representing mid-second-round picks.

Last year’s second round only featured seven players receive a partial guarantee of their Year 3 salary, Volin adds, illustrating the gains the NFLPA has made here. In 2011, only 21 first-rounders received fully guaranteed deals. Last year, 28 did. With Vikings safety Lewis Cine seeing his four-year, $11.5MM fully guaranteed, it ensured all 32 Round 1 choices would have their money locked in. When Patriots wideout Ras-I Dowling kicked off the 2011 second round, he secured only two fully guaranteed years, Volin notes. Some players in that year’s second round received just one fully guaranteed year. This year, Round 2’s final selection — Broncos edge rusher Nik Bonitto — scored two years fully guaranteed.

Texans Expect WR John Metchie To Play in 2022

The Texans added to their receiving corps when they selected former Alabama wideout John Metchie in the second round of the draft. Long before his entry into the NFL, though, it was widely known he would miss considerable time in his rookie season. 

Metchie suffered a torn ACL in the SEC title game this past season, hurting not only the Crimson Tide’s offense but his draft stock as well. Fortunately, it came out days before the draft that both he and Alabama teammate Jameson Williams were making good progress in their respective recoveries. Head coach Lovie Smith recently spoke about his current health status.

“We’re in the process of seeing exactly when John would be ready to go” Smith said, via Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network“Eventually, he will be ready to go. There’s a lot that he can do before that. He’s not 100% yet, but in time he will be.”

Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter) that the team will have a clearer picture of his recovery timetable “in a couple weeks”. Overall, optimism is shared by both the Texans and Metchie himself that he will be available at some point in 2022. The latter stated at the draft that he would be fully healthy by July, which would likely represent an unrealistically hopeful best-case scenario. As long as he is able to get on the field at some point in the fall, he will be able to start showcasing the talent which, before the injury, made him a first-round prospect.

Door Shut On Jarvis Landry Browns Return?

Jarvis Landry may need to find a third NFL employer soon. After a report indicated the former Pro Bowler’s path back to Cleveland is narrowing, it now may be shut off.

The door appears to be closed on a Landry return to the Browns, Mary Kay Cabot of notes, adding that the team does not have any other veteran wideouts on its radar presently. This will leave Amari Cooper as the sole veteran presence among Cleveland’s receivers, but Cabot adds the Browns are confident Deshaun Watson‘s arrival will elevate the likes of young holdovers Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz.

Cleveland cut Landry in March, after failing to find a trade partner, but has been linked to both re-signing him or pursuing another veteran. Landry visited the Falcons and was believed to be discussing an Atlanta partnership with Watson — before the Browns’ monster offer led the quarterback to Ohio. The Louisiana native later visited the Saints, though that was before their Chris Olave trade-up. It would seem Landry would still make sense on a Browns team that made a veteran quarterback upgrade, but the plan for now appears to be rolling with a young Cooper supporting cast.

Peoples-Jones did nearly hit 600 receiving yards last season, despite the Browns’ passing attack cratering as Baker Mayfield attempted to play through a significant injury. That total topped Landry’s (570 yards, two touchdowns), though the four-year Browns contributor missed five games. Landry eclipsed 1,100 yards in 2019 and was the team’s No. 1 wideout during its 2020 playoff run. A September MCL injury plagued Landry throughout last season.

The Browns drafted Purdue’s David Bell in Round 3, putting perhaps the final piece of their receiver puzzle in place. They would have taken Alabama’s John Metchie in the second round, per Cabot, had they not reached an agreement to trade back with the Texans. Houston added Metchie after moving up to No. 44 overall.

Texans Acquire No. 44, Select WR John Metchie

The Texans have moved up to add to the receiving corps. Houston has traded picks 68, 108, 124 to the Browns for No. 44, using it to select WR John Metchie.

The other member of the dynamic Alabama receiving tandem involving Jameson Williams, Metchie had two highly productive years with the Crimson Tide. In 2020, he posted 916 yards and six touchdowns, but took an even bigger step this past campaign. In 13 games, he totalled 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight scores.

Unfortunately, the Canadian – just like Williams – ended his college career with a torn ACL. He is expected to be recovered in time for the start of the season, though. If that is the case, he should have at least a secondary role on Houston’s offense as a compliment to the recently re-signed Brandin Cooks. Cleveland, meanwhile, will continue a lengthy wait to make their first selection in this year’s draft.

Draft Rumors: Stingley, Jaguars, Alabama, Cine, Burks

According to Matt Miller of ESPN, Derek Stingley, Jr. is the hottest name in the 2022 NFL Draft right now. The LSU cornerback has long been considered one of the top-two cornerback prospects available, along with Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner. Miller claims that Stingley is trending as high as the top-three with the Lions or Texans rumored to be interested in him at No. 2 or 3 overall.

After a stellar freshman season, Stingley was easily viewed as the best cornerback that would be available by the 2022 Draft. But, after a subpar 2020 season and only appearing in three games last year, combined with another stellar season from Gardner, NFL teams have allowed a bit of room for Gardner to challenge as the best corner on the board. The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has Gardner ranked as the third-best prospect overall with Stingley at 15th, while Dane Brugler of The Athletic has Gardner at fifth overall with Stingley at 14th. Miller, though, seems to think Stingley won’t make it past the Seahawks at 9th overall on Thursday night.

Here are a few more notes for the upcoming Draft, starting with some speculation down in Duval:

  • Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke let it be known on Friday that Jacksonville is considering four players for their number one overall draft pick this Thursday, according to Charean Williams of NBC Sports. Many mock drafts have them going with Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson or Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker, but they’ve also had their name attached to Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal and NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu. It’s hard to imagine any other names entering the conversation for Jacksonville’s top pick.
  • On their postseason run last year, college football powerhouse Alabama lost two of their top pass catchers in two of the biggest games of their season. John Metchie tore his ACL in the team’s SEC Championship victory over Georgia on December 4th. A little over a month later, Jameson Williams tore his ACL in the team’s National Championship game loss to Georgia on January 10th. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the two are progressing impressively in their recoveries, with that opinion being echoed by the NFL teams who have looked into their medical information. They may both be on track to play in the upcoming season, depending on how conservative of a team they end up with. The important thing, though, is that, while their stock may have been affected a bit by injury, they are both fully expected to hear their names called next week.
  • Georgie safety Lewis Cine visited with the Buccaneers this week, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN. Cine led the Bulldogs in tackles and passes broken up for the season last year en route to being named the defensive MVP of the team’s National Championship victory over Alabama. According to Laine, when asked if signing Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal precluded them from drafting a safety, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht simply replied, “No.”
  • According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks added two more teams to his list of visits earlier this week. Burks met with the Bears and Cardinals as he continues to trend in the first round. Read more about Burks in his NFL Draft Prospect Profile here.