The Texans are bringing back a key contributor from Lovie Smith‘s defense from last year. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Houston is bringing back linebacker Neville Hewitt on a one-year deal.
Hewitt performed admirably in a single season try out for the Texans last year. The seventh-year undrafted player out of Marshall played the third-most snaps for Houston’s linebackers behind starters Christian Kirksey and Kamu Grugier-Hill, racking up five starts along the way.
Hewitt did enough coming out of college in 2015 to sign on as a free agent with the Dolphins as a rookie. After increasing his role in Year Two, the Dolphins waived Hewitt, stashing him on the practice squad for most of the 2017 season.
In 2018, Hewitt signed a one-year contract with the Jets, starting four games in his first season in New York. Hewitt broke out a bit over the next two years, stepping in to start all 28 games he appeared in with injuries to players like C.J. Mosley providing the opportunity for him to show what he could do. In 2020, Hewitt led the Jets in tackles with a career-high 134, adding 2.0 sacks, four passes defensed, and one interception to the stat sheet, as well.
The productive year in New York earned him a one-year contract with Houston in May of last year. With Kirksey and Grugier-Hill both set to return, as well, the Texans bring back their top three linebackers, providing a nice bit of defensive familiarity for Lovie Smith to start his head coaching tenure in Houston.