HOUSTON - The Houston Texans are talking about "meat-and-potatoes'' moves ... and those are already underway. ... Updated by the minute, our Texans 2021 NFL Free Agency Tracker will keep you up to date with everything happening at NRG Stadium.
MAY 5: TEXANS SAFETY SWITCHING DIGITS Starting safety Lonnie Johnson announced on Twitter that he has changed his number from 32 to 1. This comes after the NFL announced a rule change allowing, amongst others, defensive backs to wear any number between 1-49.
And so far he isn't the only Texans DB to reveal they are considering a change, with cornerback Desmond King tweeting "Should I throw the 14 back on," with that being the number he wore at Iowa.
MAY 5: THAT WAS FAST! The Lions made up their mind quickly as tight end Darren Fells' Fells visit with the team Tuesday has turned into a contract on Wednesday.
Fells played in Detroit during the 2017 season and spent the last two years with the Texans. He had 21 catches for 312 yards and four TDs for Houston in 2020.
MAY 4: FORMER TEXANS TIGHT END VISITING LIONS Former Houston Texans tight end Darren Fells will be vising the Detroit Lions tonight, per Mike Garofolo.
Over the past two seasons, Fells made 32 regular-season appearances, recording 55 receptions for 653 yards and 11 touchdowns. Previously a professional basketball player, Fells also spent the 2017 season with Detroit.
APRIL 30: MCCARRON FLOCKS TO FALCONS former Texans backup quarterback A.J. McCarron agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons on a one-year deal. McCarron, 30, will fill the role left vacant by fellow former Texans QB Matt Schaub, who retired after 16 seasons.
McCarron made four appearances for the Texans during his two seasons at NRG Stadium, completing 22-of-38 passing attempts for 245 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.
APRIL 15: TEXANS BOLSTER BLOCKING WITH PACKERS OL The Texans will do whatever it takes to block for their quarterback this season. On Thursday, they proved just that by adding another player.
Houston agreed to terms with former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Lane Taylor. The deal is expected to be for one year under new GM Nick Caseiro.
Taylor is coming off a torn ACL following the 2020 season but is expected to be back in time for the training camp. The 31-year-old will reunite with former OL coach James Campen, who worked with him during their time in Green Bay.
Undrafted out of Oklahoma State in 2013, Taylor started 50 games for the Packers during his seven seasons. Entering 2020, he was expected to be their starting right guard.
APRIL 14: TEXANS ADD BLOCKING TIGHT END On Wednesday the Texans announced they have signed veteran tight end Antony Auclair. The 27-year old Canadian who went undrafted in 2017 has spent the four seasons since with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was inactive during their Super Bowl victory in February.
Injuries have hampered the 6'6" Laval alumni who had been on injured reserve for 14 games over the past two seasons.
Auclair will likely contend for the role vacated by Darren Fells, who was cut by the Texans earlier this offseason. Fells was primarily known for his blocking, something Auclair had been praised for in the past.
"Auclair has been one of the Buccaneers' best blocking tight ends since taking over that role from veteran Luke Stocker late in his 2017 rookie season," said Scott Smith back in October.
APRIL 13: TEXANS RELEASE A PAIR OF RESERVES On Monday the Texans announced they had released both former starting wideout Steven Mitchell, and offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel.
Given the number of free agents signed these past few weeks it was only a matter of time before cuts amongst some of the older guard began, with Mitchell and Benzschawel joining defensive tackle P.J. Hall in departing the team this month.
Former head coach Bill O'Brien had been keen on Mitchell since joining the Texans in 2018. The former undrafted free agent served primarily as a backup in Houston but did start two games over the past two seasons, finishing his Texans career with 97 receiving yards on seven receptions.
Benzschawel's time in Houston was significantly shorter having been signed to the practice squad last December, going on to make one appearance for the Texans.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, sources in Washington tell us, Benzschawel was claimed by the Washington Football Team.
APRIL 12: FOUR-TIME PRO BOWLER TO VISIT TEXANS Former Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts pass rusher Justin Houston is reportedly set to visit the Texans in the coming days, per a report from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
In 10 seasons in the NFL, Houston has 97.5 sacks, 117 tackles for loss, 148 quarterback hits, 17 forced fumbles, and 15 fumbles recoveries. He was also the NFL's sack leader in 2014.
A four-time pro bowler and two-time first-team all-pro selection, Houston is also reportedly scheduled to visit the Ravens this week, as he looks for a new home following one season two seasons in Indianapolis.
APRIL 8: TEXANS HOST FORMER SECOND ROUNDER Former Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Walker visited the Texans on Thursday per the transaction wire, after spending the past four seasons in Colorado.
A second-round pick out of Florida State in 2017, Walker made 36 appearances (5 starts) during his time in Denver recording 10.5 sacks. 2020 was as a career year for the Walker, who made 13 appearances and finishing with 4.5 sacks, both single-season highs, and also recording his only forced fumble to date.
APRIL 7: TEXANS ADD DEPTH TO D-LINE One can never have too much depth and the Texans will be living by that motto in 2021.
Houston agreed to terms with former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson. Johnson, 26, will play on a one-year deal.
Drafted in the fourth-round of out Iowa in 2017, Johnson has recorded 87 career tackles, nine for losses and nine quarterback hits. Last season, the former Hawkeye started in place of Michael Pierce following his choice to opt-out.
APRIL 7: HOUSTON ENDS TERMS WITH HALL PJ Hall will no longer be a member of the Texans. The former second-round pick had his free agent tender withdrawn Wednesday by the team.
Initially drafted by the Raiders out of Sam Houston State, Hall rebounded with the Texans in 2020. He played in 10 games, starting nine and recorded 34 tackles, one sack, two tackles for losses and two quarterback hits.
Hall was expected to make $2.183 million next season. Instead, that money will go to former Patriots safety and special teams standout A.J. Moore.
APRIL 7: HOUSTON HOUSING A SUPER BOWL WINNER The ultimate goal for every team is to win a Super Bowl. The Texans new tight end just did.
Houston agreed to terms with Antony Auclair on Wednesday as reported by The Chronicle's Aaron Wilson. Last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he appeared in eight games, starting in two.
The 6-foot-6 target has the ability to be effective in the red zone. For his career, Aucliar has recorded 10 career receptions for 84 yards. He mostly has seen action as a secondary blocker.
APRIL 7: FORMER TEXANS PUNTER STAYS IN TEXAS The Dallas Cowboys will be looking for any punter that can add an extra element to special teams. They found their man right up I-35 for the start of the 2021 season.... or. At least, competition to be the man.
The Cowboys are signing former Texans punter Bryan Anger to a one-year deal. Dallas released long-time punter Chris Jones earlier this offseason. Last season for the Texans, Anger averaged 46.4 yards per punt on 54 attempts with a long of 67 yards.
During his tenure with the Cowboys, Jones averaged 44.5 yards per kick. Last season, Hunter Niswander took over the duties following Jones' abdominal surgery. He averaged 47.2 yards per kick.
Houston added former Philadelphia Eagles punter Cam Johnston on a three-year deal earlier this year.
APRIL 3: TEXANS RETURN FORMER FACE TO O-LINE The Texans will hope to protect their quarterback for next season no matter who lines up under center. This weekend, the team added more depth to the trenches by returning a familiar face.
Houston agreed to terms on with offensive tackle Roderick Johnson on Saturday. The deal is expected to be for one year, securing his role as a swing tackle with the franchise.
Drafted in 2017 by the Cleveland Browns, Johnson has been a member of the Texans since 2018. In 2019, the 25-year-old played in all 16 games, starting two at right tackle and one a left tackle.
Johnson's versatility makes him a x-factor as the swing tackle. Houston now will have to decide what to do with the right tackle position following the addition of Marcus Cannon. Houston can elect to move the former Patriot to right guard or choose third-year tackle Tytus Howard to move inside next season.
Whoever wins the battle at right tackle, expect Johnson to be the primary back-up.
MARCH 31: FORMER TEXANS STARTER SIGNS FOR BILLS The Buffalo Bills secured the services of linebacker Tyrell Adams on a one-year deal this Wednesday.
The soon-to-be 29-year old had served primarily as a backup and practice squad member since entering the league in 2015 out of West Georgia. To date, he has spent time with seven NFL teams, making regular-season appearances for the Texans and Raiders.
2020 served as a breakout season for Adams, who made the most of his opportunity to start following a season-ending injury to Benardrick McKinney. Adams recorded 125 combined tackles, good for second-most on the team and the 12th most in the league despite only starting 12 games.
This will be Adams' second stint with the Bills, having spent time with them in 2017.
MARCH 31: TEXANS EX VISITING GIANTS Former Houston Texans linebacker and team captain Dylan Cole visited the New York Giants on Wednesday. Should he sign for the Giants, he would be the third former Texan to do so since the 2021 free agency window opened, following fullback Cullen Gillaspia and offensive lineman Zach Fulton.
A core special teamer and defensive backup for the Texans, Cole went undrafted out of Missouri State in 2017, going on to spend the following four seasons in Houston. Cole, now 26, has been plagued by injuries since day one. But should he be able to stay healthy he has the potential to be a contributor from day one for whomever he signs.
MARCH 30: TEXANS RESTRUCTURE CUNNINGHAM'S CONTRACT With multiple contracts being restructured this offseason, Nick Caserio has done it again. The Texans have restructured linebacker Zach Cunningham current deal, converting his $8.5 million fully guaranteed base salary into a $7.51 million signing bonus. The move will add $5.63 million toward's Houston salary cap space for 2020.
The news was first reported by the Chron's Aaron Wilson.
Last season, Cunningham signed a four-year deal worth $58 million, with $33.5 million guaranteed under former head coach and GM Bill O'Brien. He led the NFL in tackling with 164 total stops.
Cunningham becomes the fifth major Texans to have his contract restructured, following Laremy Tunsil, Whitney Mercilus, Brandin Cooks and David Johnson. He is now expected to earn $5.76 million in 2021
MARCH 29: 3 SIGNINGS OFFICIAL The Texans officially have deals as of Monday with the threesome of Jon Weeks, Chris Conley and Jordan Jenkins. Per The Chron:
*Weeks gets a one-year, $1.212 million contract
*Conley gets a one-year deal
*Jenkins gets a two-year deal with a base value of $6 million.
MARCH 29: TEXANS RIPPED AS 'RUDDERLESS': The Houston Texans have been labeled "The Biggest Loser'' in free agency this offseason, and also ripped for being "rudderless.''
The accusing website is "Complex,'' and they have it, at best, only half-right.
"The Houston Texans were massive losers in the first week of free agency thanks to questionable signings across the roster. It was shocking to see any team rushing to ink borderline NFL talent like Houston did.
"Instead of acquiring difference-makers, getting an old running back in Mark Ingram and fliers like Andre Roberts, Donte Moncrief and Pharaoh Brown fail to move the needle. ...This roster is destined for a top-five pick in 2022 even if Deshaun Watson plays for the franchise. ... The Texans look rudderless even under a new set of decision-makers in place. They’re the single biggest loser of the offseason thus far.''
Our evaluation of their evaluation? They get it half-right. At best. And here's the five reasons why:
1) They fail to mention J.J. Watt, but we will. On an emotional level, it's a big loss. For a building team, and considering the finances? We don't have the final answer yet. But to not include his name, as a good, a bad or an indifferent? It makes this story seem "rudderless.''
2) The rattling off of names of players who most players know little about hints that GM Nick Caserio probably has a better handle on who's who than most sportswriters or "casuals'' do. By mentioning Donte Moncrief but forgetting Phillip Lindsay ... by mentioning Pharoah Brown (who might be the fourth-string tight end) but skipping over Desmond King, Maliek Collins, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Marcus Cannon ... well, it all seems selective and deceptive.
The writer chastises Houston for not signing "difference-makers.'' That's code for "they didn't sign enough people who I've heard of.''
3) The "rudderless'' comment is ridiculous. Caserio may be wrong on every single move he's made - about 40 of them, literally, so far.
But when a GM makes 40 roster-related moves in two weeks? That is the opposite of a "lack of direction.''
The Texans, with Caserio, might be "losers.'' But they are not without a "rudder.''
4) To judge this Texans offseason without exhibiting the wisdom and patience to let the Deshaun Watson story unfold is the height of rushing to judgment. The entire legacy of the Caserio Era - whether it last two years or 20 - will almost surely hinge on his handling of the Watson situation.
Texans fans can be impatient. Serious-minded evaluators of the Texans front office should not be.
5) The prediction that Houston will be a bottom-five team in 2021, even with Watson at QB, is laughably premature. We have no idea what the offense will look like, what the defense will look like, what the NFL Draft will look like, what training camp will look like or even whether an All-Pro will be playing quarterback.
So not even the part the critic gets "right'' here - the chances that Houston will be a "loser'' in 2021 - is "right.'' Not yet.
MARCH 25: TEXANS LOSE THE TUNSIL TRADE Well, so much for that trade. When first initiated, the Texans looked like winners to send two-first round picks and a second-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Pro Bowl tackle Laremy Tunsil.
On Friday, the Dolphins used one of the two first-rounders sent by Houston to acquire two first round picks, plus a third-round pick in 2022 from the San Francisco 49ers. Less than an hour later, Miami would return to the top 10, trading the No.12 selection and their 2022 first-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles.
In total, Miami gained four first-round picks, a second-round pick and a third-round pick for Kenny Stills, who no longer is on the Texans roster, and Tunsil. Tunsil is talented, but that's a plethora of picks that Houston could have used to help in the rebuild this offseason.
MARCH 25: TEXANS RETURN VETERAN LONG SNAPPER Just days after being let go by Houston, Jon Weeks will return for his 12th NFL season. Weeks and the Texans agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $1.075 million with a $137,500 signing bonus. The news was first reported by the Chronicle's Aaron Wilson.
Weeks currently holds the franchise record with 176 consecutive games played as a member of the team. He will return with kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn and new punter Cameron Johnston for the impending year.
MARCH 24: TEXANS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE SEVEN SIGNINGS While common knowledge for some time, the Texans have made seven acquisitions from the past two weeks official.
The latest moves are headlined by two former Pro Bowlers in running back Mark Ingram and wide receiver and return specialist Andre Roberts.
Joining them amongst this latest batch of arrivals are linebackers Christian Kirksey and Kevin Pierre-Louis, defensive back Terrance Mitchell, wideout Chris Moore, and tight end Pharaoh Brown, who was re-signed after a strong 2020 campaign.
MARCH 24: TEXANS ADJUST MERCILUS' CONTRACT Entering 2021, the Texans possibly held buyer's remorse on extending long-time linebacker Whitney Mercilus.
That no longer is a problem after this season.
According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the Texans have restructured Mercilus' contract for the coming season. The difference is that unlike other common "base-to-bonus'' restructures, this change means it will be Mercilus' final year in a Texans uniform on this contract. The new deal will now make his 2022 and 2023 contract seasons voidable - "dummy years'' - meaning Mercilus will be free after the season.
Houston's purpose in the move is to carve $4 million this season to go towards the salary cap.
MARCH 23: TEXANS RE-SIGNING FRANCHISE RECORD HOLDER While general manager Nick Caserio may have initially passed on re-signing long snapper Jon Weeks, it appears the team has backtracked as, according to Aaron Wilson, they are expected to re-sign the 11-year veteran.
This comes after they released fellow long snapper Anthony Kukwa on Tuesday.
Weeks has played a franchise-record 176 regular-season games for the Texans, having never missed a game since joining in 2010 as an undrafted free agent out of Baylor. Now 35, Weeks will be the oldest member of Houston's roster as he lines up under his third different Texans head coach.
MARCH 23: TEXANS CUTS BEGIN AT WIDEOUT After signing a string of free-agent wide receivers the past two weeks, the Houston Texans have opted to waive fellow wideout Chad Hansen.
A 2017 fourth-round pick with the New York Jets, Hansen took full advantage of his opportunities with the Texans in 2020. Throughout two starts and five total appearances, Hansen recorded 236 receiving yards and his only NFL touchdown to date.
His standout performance came in Week 12 against the Indianapolis Colts, where he recorded 101 receiving yards on five receptions during his first league appearance since his rookie year.
MARCH 23: TEXAS TO HOST FORMER SAINTS STANDOUT The Texans are looking to protect their quarterback in 2021. For now, it's about adding depth in the trenches.
According to the Chronicle's Aaron Wilson, the Texans are set to host former New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Nick Easton this week. Easton, 28, was released by New Orleans in February one year after signing a four-year, $24 million contract.
A hybrid player at both guard and center, Easton started nine of 12 games last season at right guard before being replaced by rookie Cesar Ruiz. For his career, Easton has started 32 games, playing in 45 total.
MARCH 22: TEXANS ADD DIME LB Another day, another linebacker heads to Houston. The Texans have added former Minnesota Vikings Hardy Nickerson on a one-year deal.
Undrafted out of Illinois in 2017, Nickerson spent time playing for the Bengals for three seasons, primarily playing on special teams. For his career, Nickerson has recorded 81 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.
MARCH 22: TEXANS SIGN EX CHIEFS WR The Texans will have at least veteran leadership on the roster this season. Houston officially agreed to terms with veteran wide receiver Chris Conley on Monday morning. The deal is expected to be for one-year.
Conley, who was drafted out of Georgia by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015, has tallied 191 career receptions for 2,484 yards and 13 touchdowns. He spent the last two seasons as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
MARCH 20: CASERIO CONTINUES CAP CLEAR UP Texans general manager Nick Caserio has continued to work on clearing up cap space for 2021, this time by renegotiating left tackle Laremy Tunsil's contract.
Per Ian Rapoport, the Pro Bowler's deal has essentially remained the same in terms of the total cost. However, he will now earn a base salary of $990,000 with a $15.61 mil bonus included.
The result? The Texans now have an extra $10.11 million in cap space available this season, while the remaining two years of his deal will currently remain unaltered.
MARCH 20: PASS-RUSHER SIGNS The Texans will be addressing their pass rush with the addition of Jordan Jenkins. A former third-round pick out of Georgia, Jenkins has recorded 189 tackles, 22.5 sacks, 46 quarterback hits and 25 tackles for losses.
The former New York Jets outside linebacker is expected to sign a two-year deal worth up to $8 million
MARCH 19: TEXANS ADD PRO BOWL RUNNER The Texans might be fine at running back overall, but one can never have enough weapons. Another running back is now in the backfield for 2021.
The Texans have agreed to terms with former Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay. According to his agent, Mike McCartney, Lindsay will head to NRG Stadium on a one-year deal worth $3.25M with $500k in upsides.
Lindsay, who went undrafted out of Colorado in 2018, has been a standout in the Mile High City for the past three seasons. In his first two years, Lindsay recorded back-to-back 1,000-plus yard years. In 2020 with the addition of Melvin Gordon, the 26-year-old recorded just 502 yards and one touchdown last season, averaging 4.3 yards per carry.
For his career, Lindsay rushed for 2,550 yards and 17 touchdowns while averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
MARCH 19: MIAMI ADD ANOTHER TEXANS EX After trading for linebacker Benardrick McKinney and signing wideout Will Fuller already this offseason, the Dolphins have added yet another now-former Houston Texan with outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett heading to Hard Rock Stadium.
Scarlett spent five seasons in Houston after arriving undrafted out of Cal in 2016. A core special teamer for much of his time with the Texans, Scarlett's presence on defense grew in 2019 and 2020, starting 14 games across this period.
However, after missing five games with a fractured forearm this past season he was never able to find his place in their evolving defense. And with the recent influx of free agent linebackers to accompany Houston's new defensive formation and coordinator, Scarlett was not brought back and will look to find stake his claim for a spot alongside two former teammates on Miami's roster.
MARCH 19: FAMILIAR FACE He is not a familiar face to the Texans, but offensive lineman Cole Toner played for line coach James Campen back with the Chargers, and now Toner is signing on via a one-year deal to come to Houston. He's 6-5, 300, age 27, and a former fifth-round pick from Harvard.
He's mostly been a practice-squadder, but ... Toner is a budding rock star, too.
MARCH 19 TEXANS ADD PUNTER FOR 2021 The Texans needed to upgrade their special teams following the release of Bryan Anger. Houston has found it with former Philadelphia Eagles punter Cam Johnston.
A source confirms to TexansDaily.com that Johnston will join the Texans on a three-year deal, with the contract worth up to $8 million with a $1 million signing bonus. The news was first reported by Mike Kaye of NJ.com.
Johnston is coming off a career-worst 41.2 net-yard average per punt. During his three years with the Eagles, the 29-year-old averaged 47 yards and 42.1 net yards per punt.
MARCH 18 DEPTH DEPTH AND MORE DEPTH AT RECEIVER How many wide receivers are too many? Well, the Texans are doing their utmost to find out, adding two more free agents on Thursday evening. Donte Moncrief and Alex Erickson both arrive on one-year deals, per Ian Rapoport.
Moncrief, 27, is best known for his four seasons spent with AFC South rivals the Indianapolis Colts, where he amassed 1,875 receiving yards before spending time across four teams over the next three seasons, the Patriots being the most recent.
Meanwhile, Erickson, 28, has spent his entire career to date up in Cincinnati where he had his best offensive season in 2019 when he totaled 529 yards receiving. His best shot of making the roster will be as a special teamer, given he was the Bengals' primary returner during his first three years in the league.
MARCH 18 NICK MARTIN HEADS TO VIA LAS VEGAS Nick Martin has a new home this offseason following his stint with the Texans. The former starting center agreed to terms with the Las Vegas Raiders. Las Vegas will be looking to improve their offensive line after trading Rodney Hudson to the Arizona Cardinals earlier this week.
A second-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2016, Martin played in 62 games with the Texans' offensive line. In 2019, Martin signed a three-year, $33 million contract extension with $18.5 million guaranteed. He was released earlier this month.
MARCH 18 A NEW KING OF THE SECONDARY Of all the Texans' recent moves, this is the one that will be remembered most come Week 1. Houston agreed to terms will slot cornerback Desmond King early on Thursday evening. The deal is to be for one year worth $3.5 million.
King, who began his NFL career with the Los Angeles Chargers, was traded midseason to the Tennessee Titans. One of the more sure-fire tacklers at the position, King thrives inside against slot receivers and tight ends. The 26-year-old recorded 55 total tackles, two sacks, and two pass breakups last season.
A quality signing for Houston, King will be an excellent addition to Lovie Smith's 4-3 scheme that will run plenty of zone reads next season.
MARCH 18 FULLER HEADS TO SOUTH BEACH The Texans knew there was a chance they would lose Will Fuller this offseason. That chance is now permanent following the recent news.
As reported by The Athletic's Josh Tolentino, the Miami Dolphins have agreed to terms with the speedy target Thursday afternoon. The deal is expected to be one-year worth more than $10 million. Fuller will miss Week 1 after serving the final game of his PED suspension.
Fuller was a hot name on the market due to his speed. Entering the offseason, the 26-year-old target is coming off a career year with 53 catches for 879 yards and eight touchdowns. The Texans elected not to franchise tag him at $15.3 million earlier this month.
Fuller ends his five seasons in Houston with 209 catches for 3,110 yards and 24 touchdowns.
MARCH 18 HOUSTON CUTS PUNTER The Texans announced Thursday that have released punter Bryan Anger. Anger was expected to make $2.5 million for the 2021 season. Last year with Houston, he averaged 46.4 yards per punt.
MARCH 18: TEXANS ADD BLOCKING TIGHT END Houston might have parted ways with Darren Fells, but they have added another name for blocking. The Texans have traded for Ryan Izzo from the New England Patriots. In return, New England will receive a 2022 seventh-round pick.
Izzo, primarily used as a blocker, played in 12 games last season. For his career, he's recorded 19 receptions for 313 yards and a touchdown.
MARCH 18: TEXANS LOSE TIGHT END The Texans will be starting fresh at the tight end position. On Thursday, Houston cut 11-year veteran Darren Fells after two seasons.
A consistent target in the red zone, Fells recorded 55 catches for 653 and 11 touchdowns during his time
MARCH 18: WATKINS WAVES GOODBYE Addressing the defense of line will be a massive need this upcoming draft for the Texans. The Dallas Cowboys have signed former defensive and Carlos Watkins.
Watkins started in 11 games for the Texans last season. Houston is moving from their standard 3-4 line to a base 4-3 under new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith.
MARCH 17: STARTER CUT The Texans have cut starting guard Zach Fulton, as The Chron is first to report, creating $3 million of cap room as Houston moves on to an O-line that will include newcomers Justin McCray, Marcus Cannon, and Justin Britt.
The Texans have also signed Tae Davis, a 6-2, 224-pound linebacker who was an undrafted rookie in 2018 but has special-teams play with the Giants and last year as a core special-teamer in Cleveland.
And speaking of Cleveland ... The Texans have agreed to terms on a 2-year deal with corner Tavierre Thomas, formerly of the Browns, NFL Network reports.
MARCH 17: BROWN SIGNED The Texans signed tight end Pharoah Brown to a 1-year $2.2 mil deal, per NFL Network.
MARCH 16: DEFENSIVE REBUILD CONTINUES Familiar faces will be hard to come by in 2021 as the Texans have added yet another free agent in the shape of former Cleveland Browns cornerback Terrance Mitchell.
Per Ian Rapoport, Mitchell will be signing a two-year deal worth $7.5 million. The soon-to-be 29-year-old is fresh off of a strong year with the Browns having started all 16 games for the first time in his NFL career, recording 13 defended passes, three forced fumbles, 65 combined tackles while playing 99% of the team's defensive snaps.
This deal gives the Texans another veteran option at the position, with Bradley Roby and Vernon Hargreaves the slated starters.
MARCH 16: INSURANCE FOR DESHAUN The Texans will have to prepare for a potential standoff with Deshaun Watson. Should the 25-year-old quarterback still demand a trade, the Texans potentially have their bridge quarterback for 2021.
Houston has agreed to terms with former Los Angeles chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor. It is expected to be a one year deal worth $6 million. Taylor recently played under Texans pass game coordinator pep Hamilton and worked with new head coach David Culley during his time with the Buffalo Bills.
MARCH 16: 'AN EASTERBY GUY' The Texans have agreed to terms with outside linebacker/defensive end Derek Rivers, a 6-5, 250-pound fourth-year veteran who was with the Chargers last season but is a former third-round pick of the Patriots. ... with a connection to Houston exec Jack Easterby. ...
Rivers has 2.5 career sacks, but is Youngstown State's all-time sack leader.
MARCH 16: 3 CUT Wide receivers J'Mon Moore and Damion Ratley and linebacker Curtis Bolton are being released, per The Chron.
None of the three were in-game factors for the Texans in 2020.
MARCH 15: HOUSTON TENDERS HALL: If someone wants to claim PJ Hall, they're going to have to give back to the Texans. The former Sam Houston product was assigned a $2.133 million restricted free agent tender.
Hall had a quality season under Anthony Weaver following struggles with the Raiders. He started nine of 10 games played and recorded 34 tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits.
MARCH 15: TEXANS ADD SPEED: It was clear the Texans wanted to upgrade their need at wide receiver and special teams. On Monday night they did both by adding former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Chris Moore. The two sides agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $2 million.
MARCH 15: TEXANS ADD COVER GUY AT LB Although it seems like Houston doesn't need another linebacker, this could be another high-reward signing for the long-haul. The Texans agreed to terms with former Washington Football Team's Kevin Pierre-Louis. The deal is expected to be two-years worth up to $8 million
Additionally, Houston is reportedly adding a receiver, Chris Moore, from the Ravens via a one-year deal.
MARCH 15: DEFENSIVE REBUILD CONTINUES Nick Caserio's remarkably busy day has continued well into the evening with former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Joe Thomas the latest to be signed. Caserio's theme of short-term, low risk-high reward contracts continued with Thomas signing a one-year $2 million deal.
Thomas made a little over $1 million in 2020 but he just doubled that in his one-year deal with the Houston Texans. He can start, back up, and play special teams. ... and in Dallas?
Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith need to be better. And depending on what Sean Lee decides about retirement, that leaves the Cowboys with a clear need for a third linebacker.
MARCH 15: TEXANS BOLSTER INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE With the hope of keeping Deshaun Watson protected in 2021, the Texans have agreed to terms with guard Justin McCray. The former Packers and Falcons swing player will join on a two-year deal worth $4.5 million, including another $1 million in incentives. The news was first reported by NFL Network's Mike Garafolo
MARCH 15: BROOKS BUYS INTO TEXANS REBUILD Houston will be adding another versatile defender to the mix this offseason with the addition of Terrance Brooks. The former New England Patriots safety is expected to join on a one-year deal worth $2 million per his agent, Drew Rosenhaus
MARCH 15: MALIEK BACK TO TEXAS Old Cowboys friend defensive tackle Maliek Collins moves from the Raiders back to Texas. He’ll help the Texans with the switch to 4-3, which he succeeded in during his time with the Cowboys - except for a series of troublesome foot ailments.
MARCH 15: TEXANS ADD SPECIAL TEAMS ACE Houston continues to address their special teams needs with the addition of cornerback-special-teamer Tremon Smith. Smith, who played last season for the Colts is expected to sign a one-year deal with a maximum value of $1.13 million. The news was first reported by The Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson
MARCH 15: HOUSTON HAS A COVER BACKER The Texans could be set with their 4-3 linebacker formation following the signing of Kamu Grugier-Hill. Gugier-Hill is regarded as one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL and was initially drafted by Nick Caserio in New England. He'll join Houston on a one-year deal worth $3.25 million.
MARCH 15: RETURN MAN FOUND The Texans will be adding another wide receiver to the room following the departure of Will Fuller. Houston and former Buffalo Bills return specialist Andre Roberts agree to a two-year deal worth $5.95 million.
So ... Kamu can cover. And hopefully, especially on special teams, Roberts will make it tough on coverage opponents.
MARCH 15: EXPECT MORE TRADES That's the word from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. That makes Houston both a buyer and a seller here ... and with $30 mil or so in cap room, a buyer on top of that, it is hoped.
MARCH 15: TWO DEALS DONE New GM Nick Caserio moved quickly over the weekend with a trio of deals ...
MARCH 15: WATSON WATCH No, he's not a free agent. But ... you know. Deshaun Watson Trade Talks To 'Heat Up' For Texans Before Draft
MARCH 11: COOKS MONEY MOVED He might end up being the No. 1 receiver in 2021. So ... Texans Move Brandin Cooks' Money for Cap Room.
MARCH 11: PRO BOWL RB How much tread is left on the tires? Houston thinks it knows ... Breaking: Texans Sign 3-Time Pro Bowl RB
MARCH 10: FULLER FINISHED? Houston made a major decision here. Is it a major mistake? Will Fuller Hits Free Agency; Did the Texans Make the Right Call? Our roundtable panel discusses.
MARCH 10: PATS PALS? What does Jack do? What if he does this? Is Easterby Key To Texans Acquiring Malcolm Butler?
MARCH 5: CAP CASUALTIES We made some predictions. We're getting some right. Houston Texans Cap Casualties? The Next Moves