Vernon Hargreaves III

Texans Waive Vernon Hargreaves III

The Texans have released cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (Twitter link via NFL.com’s James Palmer). As a post-deadline cut, he’ll go on the waiver wire and made available to the rest of the league’s teams. If he goes unclaimed after 24 hours, he’ll be a full-fledged free agent.

Hargreaves started in five games for the Texans this year and played in nearly every snap on Sunday against the Colts. Of course, that wasn’t a banner game for the Texans — they lost 31-3 while Jonathan Taylor torched the front seven for 145 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Houston claimed Hargreaves off waivers from the Tampa last year, a low-risk move to improve their secondary. He went on to start in all 16 of his games while registering 72 stops, seven passes defensed, and one interception. The advanced metrics weren’t fond of his work — Pro Football Focus ranked him near the bottom at cornerback, out of 126 qualified NFL corners. Still, the Texans re-upped the former first-round pick on a one-year, $1.325MM deal.

Cutting Hargreaves won’t have much of an impact on the Texans’ cap, especially if another team scoops him up between now and Thursday afternoon.

 

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Texans To Re-Sign Vernon Hargreaves

Vernon Hargreaves is staying put. On Friday, the Texans re-signed the cornerback to a new one-year deal (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). 

The Texans claimed Hargreaves off waivers from the Bucs last year in a low-risk move to fortify their secondary. Then, they re-signed the former first-round pick on a one-year, $1.325MM deal. He went on to start in all 16 of his games while registering 72 stops, seven passes defensed, and one interception. However, the advanced metrics weren’t fond of his work — Pro Football Focus ranked him near the bottom at cornerback, out of 126 qualified NFL corners.

After allowing ~400 yards per game and parting ways with several key veterans, the Texans still have lots of work to do. Hargreaves would probably be a better fit as a rotational piece, but the Texans’ rebuild could put him back in the starting lineup for 2021.

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Texans’ Vernon Hargreaves Hopes To Return

Vernon Hargreaves will be eligible for free agency in a matter of months. However, the cornerback hopes to stay put in Houston. 

Of course,” Hargreaves said when asked if he’d like to re-sign with the Texans (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). “I love it here.”

It’s not a given that the Texans feel the same way. The defense has allowed an average of ~403 yards per game this year, more than any team in the league not named the Jaguars. They’ve fared better in terms of points allowed — 27.6 ppg puts them somewhere near the middle of the pack – but a defensive overhaul is clearly on the horizon.

The Texans claimed Hargreaves off waivers from the Bucs last year in a low-risk move to fortify their secondary. Then, they re-signed the former first-round pick on a one-year, $1.325MM deal. Since then, he’s started in all 14 of his games while registering 60 stops, six passes defensed, and one interception. However, the advanced metrics haven’t been fond of his work — Pro Football Focus ranks him 116th out of 126 qualified NFL corners this year.

Hargreaves would probably be a better fit as a rotational piece if he remains for 2021. Still, the Texans will have a number of holes to address, so it’s possible that he could return as a first-stringer for next season.

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Contract Details: Texans, Seahawks, Redskins

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • Bradley Roby, CB (Texans): Three years, $36MM. Includes $19MM guaranteed. Base value of $31.5MM, with $4.5MM in annual playing time incentives. $3MM signing bonus, $3.5MM roster bonus (2020). Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Vernon Hargreaves, CB (Texans): One year. Deal is worth $1.325MM, including $250K signing bonus, $825K base salary, up to $250K in per-game roster bonuses. Via Wilson on Twitter.
  • Benson Mayowa, DE (Seahawks): Signed. One-year, $3.05MM deal. Includes $1.5MM signing bonus, $1.05MM base salary (fully guaranteed). $2.55MM in total guarantees, $500K in per-game roster bonuses. Via ESPN’s Brady Henderson on Twitter.
  • Cody Latimer, WR (Redskins): Signed. One-year deal, $137.5K guaranteed signing bonus. Cap hit of $887.5K. Via ESPN’s John Keim on Twitter.

We also thought this would be a good opportunity to pass along a tidbit from ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter), who listed the largest dead-money cap charges in 2020:

  1. Brandin Cooks: $20.8M (Rams)
  2. Nick Foles: $18.75M (Jaguars)
  3. Joe Flacco: $13.6M (Broncos)
  4. Tom Brady: $13.5M (Patriots)
  5. Todd Gurley: $11.75M (Rams)
  6. Matt Kalil: $9.8M (Panthers)
  7. Trai Turner: $9.592M (Panthers)
  8. Stefon Diggs: $9M (Vikings)
  9. Reshad Jones: $8.14M (Dolphins)
  10. Eric Berry: $8M (Chiefs)

Texans To Re-Sign Vernon Hargreaves

The Texans have reached agreement on a new deal with Vernon Hargreaves III, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Fiscal terms are not yet known, but he’ll come back on a fresh one-year deal. 

The Texans claimed Hargreaves off waivers from the Bucs in a low-risk move to fortify their secondary. For the most part, it worked out for them. This offseason, they had the choice to trigger his fifth-year option, since he’s a former first-round pick, but the price tag didn’t make sense given what he’s done so far.

Instead, he’ll come back on a less costly deal. The Texans, meanwhile, seem optimistic about what he can do in 2020.

“Vernon came in here, he works very hard,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said earlier this year“Very hard worker, guy that really showed up to practice every day, learned the system. I don’t think that’s easy to be able to come in, in the middle of a season, and really later than that, and play that nickel position is not easy.

So, I give a lot of credit to Vernon. There’s a lot of things that he’s going to work hard to improve upon. We’re going to help them with that, but I think Vernon stepped into a tough situation and really made the best of it.”

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Latest On Vernon Hargreaves, Texans

The Texans decision to claim cornerback Vernon Hargreaves off waivers mostly worked out for the organization. However, the team now has an interesting decision to make on the former first-rounder.

As Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes, the organization must decide whether they want to pick up the fifth-year option on the 24-year-old. The team could alternatively cut Hargreaves before that option becomes guaranteed (similar to what they did last year with Kevin Johnson), or both sides could work on finding common ground on a new contract. Either way, it sounds like the team is interested in retaining the defensive back.

“Vernon came in here, he works very hard,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “Very hard worker, guy that really showed up to practice every day, learned the system. I don’t think that’s easy to be able to come in, in the middle of a season, and really later than that, and play that nickel position is not easy.

So, I give a lot of credit to Vernon. There’s a lot of things that he’s going to work hard to improve upon. We’re going to help them with that, but I think Vernon stepped into a tough situation and really made the best of it.”

Hargreaves fell out of favor with Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers coaching staff, leading to Tampa Bay’s decision to waive him in November. The cornerback was ultimately claimed by Houston, and he compiled 21 tackles, one tackle for a loss, and two passes defended down the stretch. While he struggled a bit during his team’s playoff loss to the Chiefs, it sounds like the organization is confident he can take another step forward during his second season in Houston.

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Texans Claim Vernon Hargreaves

The Texans claimed former Bucs’ cornerback Vernon Hargreaves on waivers, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Hargreaves was released on Tuesday, which made him subject to the waiver wire, per the league’s rules for players who are cut after the trade deadline. 

The former first round pick did not meet expectations in Tampa, but he profiles as a low-risk, high-reward type for Houston. Hargreaves was the No. 11 overall pick in 2016 for a reason and there could be some good football still left in the tank for the Florida product.

Before the release, Hargreaves was set to play out his rookie deal and 2020 fifth-year option. But, because that $9.9MM option was guaranteed for injury only, the Bucs were easily able to move on. New head coach Bruce Arians sat Hargreaves on the first day of OTAs because he was “not mentally ready to practice.” Apparently, the two were not able to get on the same page between the summer and the fall.

The Bucs sure could have used a healthy and productive Hargreaves on the roster, given that they have the worst pass defense in the NFL. With that in mind, the decision is rather telling of the team’s view of him.

The Texans, meanwhile, also have ample need at the position, but with more confidence in Hargreaves than Arians & Co. did. Even after acquiring cornerback Gareon Conley from the Raiders, there’s still plenty of work to be had for the 24-year-old in Houston.

Hargreaves will be eligible to make his Texans debut on Sunday against the Ravens.

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Buccaneers Cut Vernon Hargreaves

The Buccaneers have cut cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Tampa Bay selected Hargreaves in the first round (No. 11 overall) of the 2016 draft and exercised the fifth-year option of his rookie deal back in May, which would have kept the Florida product under club control through 2020.

However, the fifth-year option would have come with a $9.9MM salary and was guaranteed for injury only, so Hargreaves will not have any impact on the Bucs’ cap in 2020. This move comes on the heels of Hargreaves being benched in the second half of Sunday’s victory over the Cardinals for not hustling, and may have been done to send a message to the rest of the locker room. As Jenna Laine of ESPN.com writes, Hargreaves planned to speak with head coach Bruce Arians to discuss the benching and expressed confidence that he and Arians could resolve any issues they might have, but the fact that his lack of hustle was not an isolated incident could have contributed to his ouster. Laine reminds us that Arians sat Hargreaves on the first day of OTAs because he was “not mentally ready to practice.”

The Bucs’ decision is particularly telling given that they have the worst pass defense in the NFL and now have just three healthy corners on the roster. As Greg Auman of The Athletic notes, Tampa will turn to rookies Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting as its starters (Twitter link). Auman tweets that, given the youth and injuries along the CB depth chart, the club is likely to add a corner from outside the organization to replace Hargreaves.

Hargreaves rarely lived up to his first-round billing during his tenure with the Bucs, struggling both outside the numbers and in the slot. However, given his youth and upside, he will surely garner interest from other clubs in need of secondary help. Now that we are past the trade deadline, Hargreaves is subject to waivers, and while he is due just $980K for the remainder of the 2019 season, a team that claims Hargreaves off waivers would also be putting itself on the hook for the 2020 option year. As such, teams may wait for Hargreaves to clear waivers and then attempt to sign him as a free agent.

GM Jason Licht issued the following statement on the transaction (Twitter links to Auman):

“After thoughtful consideration over the past few weeks, Coach Arians and I came to the conclusion that we needed to make this change. Decisions such as this are always difficult, but we felt it was in the best interest of the team to part ways with Vernon at this time and allow him to explore other opportunities. We are disappointed that it did not work out here for Vernon, and we wish him continued success moving forward.”

Hargreaves, a collegiate standout with the Gators, ends his Bucs tenure with two interceptions — including one pick-six — 19 passes defensed, and 164 total tackles in 35 games (33 starts). Injuries limited him to just 10 games between the 2017-18 seasons.

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Bucs Pick Up Vernon Hargreaves’ Option

Vernon Hargreaves will be sticking around Tampa Bay for at least two more seasons. Rick Stroud TampaBay.com reports (via Twitter) that the Buccaneers have picked up the cornerback’s fifth-year option. Hargreaves will now be tied to a $9MM deal for the 2020 campaign.

The 23-year-old was selected with the 11th-overall pick by the Buccaneers during the 2016 draft. The defensive back proved he was worth his draft spot during his rookie season, as he compiled 76 tackles, nine passes defended, and one pick in 16 games. This performance earned him a spot on the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team.

Since that time, Hargreaves has battled numerous injuries. A hamstring issue limited him to only nine games (eight starts) in 2017, while a shoulder injury forced him to miss all but one game in 2018. Despite the injuries, the Bucs will be relying on Hargreaves once again heading into next season; he’s currently projected to start at cornerback alongside Carlton Davis.

Click here for a full rundown of every fifth-year option decision on 2016 first-round picks.

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Buccaneers Notes: Monken, Koetter, Pierre-Paul, Jackson, Hargreaves

The Buccaneers’ offensive explosion in Week 1 caught pretty much everybody by surprise. The Bucs scored 48 points and won fairly easily on the road in New Orleans. Ryan Fitzpatrick had one of the best games of his career, throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Although it was mostly the same personnel from previous seasons, there was at least one major change. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken was calling plays instead of head coach Dirk Koetter according to Jenna Laine of ESPN. Koetter had always called plays during his time in Tampa Bay, but relinquished the play calling duties to Monken after he excelled in the role during the preseason. If Week 1 is any indication, it doesn’t look like Koetter will be asking for the responsibility back anytime soon.

Here’s more from Tampa:

  • The injuries just keep piling up for the Bucs on defense. Vernon Hargreaves was recently placed on injured reserve, top corner Brent Grimes‘ status is still unclear, and now star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has a knee injury according to Laine (Twitter link). Pierre-Paul told Laine his knee was “jacked up” and that while he hopes to play this Sunday he’s “not really sure” if he’ll be able to.
  • The injuries aren’t only on defense. Receiver DeSean Jackson is in the concussion protocol according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). In addition to the concussion, Jackson is nursing a minor shoulder injury and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to go Sunday against the Eagles, although at this point it looks like he’ll probably play assuming he clears the protocol.
  • It was reported earlier this week that Hargreaves would miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, and now more details are in. The 11th overall pick of the 2016 draft has a torn labrum according to Laine. Although he struggled his first two years in the league, Hargreaves reportedly had a very strong camp to win the starting job, and it’s a huge blow to the Bucs’ already thin secondary.