Texans Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/8/18

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

New York Jets

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/18

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Texans Activate RB D’Onta Foreman From PUP

D’Onta Foreman is back. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the Texans have activated the running back from the physically unable to perform list. To make room on the roster, the team has cut safety Natrell Jamerson, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).

The 22-year-old running back tore his Achilles towards the end of last season, and he’s spent this entire campaign on the PUP. While the Texans were probably hoping that the 2017 third-rounder would take on a bigger role during his sophomore campaign, they’ve been fine rolling with the duo of Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue.

Foreman is the biggest bruiser of the bunch, and the Texans will surely want to see what they’ve got in the former Texas Longhorns standout. The running back looked solid during his rookie campaign, compiling 327 rushing yards on 78 carries (4.2-yard average). He added another six receptions for 83 yards, and he even returned a single kickoff. The Texans will likely ease him back into game action, but there’s a chance he could supplant Miller come playoff time if the veteran is struggling.

Jamerson was a fifth-round pick by the Saints in this past year’s draft, but he was cut by New Orleans at the end of the preseason. He soon caught on with the Texans, and he went on to compile seven tackles and one pass defended in 10 games. With the rookie out of the picture, the Texans will move forward with Justin ReidMichael Tyson, and Andre Hal as their reserve safeties.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Who Will Be AFC’s No. 1 Seed?

Five two- or three-loss teams comprise the AFC’s group of surefire contenders. The Chiefs, Patriots, Texans, Steelers and Chargers are almost certain to extend their seasons into January.

But which team will wind up with the No. 1 seed? That question becomes more interesting after the events in Kansas City on Friday.

Although Sammy Watkins has missed time for the Chiefs this season, they trotted out their top offensive threats in every game. The Patrick MahomesTravis KelceTyreek HillKareem Hunt quartet led Kansas City to a 9-2 record — with losses coming by a combined six points against teams with a combined 18-4 record — and a runaway DVOA lead, but the NFL’s reigning rushing champion won’t be joining his former teammates Sunday in Oakland after the Chiefs cut him. Hunt totaled 1,202 yards from scrimmage for the Chiefs this season; no other K.C. back has more than 300. But next-man-up Spencer Ware did amass 1,368 for the 2016 Chiefs.

This may open the door for the franchise that has secured the AFC’s No. 1 seed in five of this decade’s eight seasons. Only two AFC franchises have held home field in the 2010s — New England and Denver — and no other team has represented the conference in a Super Bowl in six years.

The Chiefs have not had home-field advantage since 1997 but entered the week having the inside track to make the playoffs go through western Missouri. Football Outsiders gives Kansas City a 74 percent chance to lock down the No. 1 seed.

They have two games remaining against the 2-9 Raiders and also will be home against the Chargers, who haven’t won this matchup since 2013, and Ravens. The Chiefs must travel to Seattle in Week 16, and their margin for error may be slim.

The Patriots’ AFC East rivals are again cooperating with New England’s hopes of earning a bye and possibly the 1 seed, and three of the Pats’ final five games are against the Bills, Jets and Dolphins. Football Outsiders, however, gives the Patriots merely a 13 percent chance of securing home-field advantage. But they own head-to-head tiebreakers over the Chiefs and Texans. Despite this being a less-than-dominant Patriots edition (ninth DVOA, seventh in scoring offense, 12th on defense), they have an interesting chance to obtain home field again.

New England is 19-3 in Foxborough playoff games under Bill Belichick and 3-4 away from home in January, making that position rather important.

Football Outsiders tabs Houston, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles as long shots, with none carrying better than a 6.9 percent chance (the Texans) to avoid January travel.

Houston, though, leads the contender pack with the No. 4 DVOA defense and plays just one winning team — the 6-5 Colts — the rest of the way. The Texans are riding the longest win streak in football and are the first team to win eight straight after starting 0-3. The Steelers and Chargers will encounter tougher opposition. Games against the Bolts, Patriots (both at home) and Saints still loom for the Steelers. Road trips to Kansas City and Denver are ahead for the Chargers, who also host the Ravens in Week 16.

Los Angeles is fourth in weighted DVOA and, especially with Joey Bosa back, possesses a far superior defense to the Chiefs. Will that end up mattering come Week 15 in what’s been a one-sided rivalry as of late?

So, which one of these teams will end up with the conference’s coveted postseason real estate? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/27/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: OL Gerhard de Beer

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Workout Updates: 11/27/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer, unless otherwise specified.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Extension Talks Between Texans, Tyrann Mathieu Likely

In an offseason where the top safeties were oddly ignored, the Texans gave Tyrann Mathieu $7MM on a one-year deal. The mid-level investment’s worked out thus far, and it might not be the last Mathieu contract with the franchise.

Mathieu and the Texans have not begun discussions on an extension, but it’s likely they will, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

The fifth-year safety is not expected to barrel toward free agency without hearing the Texans’ best pitch to keep him off the market, Wilson notes, adding that Mathieu’s expected to give the Texans the first crack at an offer.

Mathieu is “most definitely” interested in signing to stay in Houston, he said this week. But it will surely take more than $7MM per year to make that happen.

In a strange offseason for safeties, Mathieu received the most in per-year dollars. Of the other top safeties, only Morgan Burnett (three years, $14MM) signed for more than $4MM per year. Tre Boston, Kenny Vaccaro and Eric Reid signed one-year deals. They figure to be back on the market in 2019 in hopes of cashing in, which sets up another interesting offseason at this position.

It may be a crowded marketplace, however. If Mathieu reaches free agency, he may join Earl Thomas, Lamarcus Joyner, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Landon Collins. Not all of these names are likely to make it to free agency, but some will. With much bigger names en route to UFA status, the safety position figures to be valued more appropriately compared to what happened this year.

Mathieu was once the NFL’s highest-paid safety, but the Cardinals cut bait on that $12.5MM-per-year extension after two seasons. But if he continues on course, the 26-year-old standout should be on track to pursue a deal in that ballpark again.

Houston is projected to possess plenty of cap space ($73MM-plus) and would be able to discuss a Mathieu deal even after applying the franchise tag to Jadeveon Clowney. Being used more as a pure safety and not a slot defender like he was in Arizona, Mathieu has 61 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions in 10 games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Owner Bob McNair Dies At 81

Texans owner Bob McNair died on Friday at the age of 81, the team announced. 

McNair purchased an NFL expansion franchise in 1999, giving Houston its first team since the Oilers moved to Tennessee in 1997. It was a landmark event for H-Town and for professional sports as a whole. McNair paid $700MM for the team, which dwarfed the $140MM price paid for the Jaguars and Panthers expansion franchises just six years earlier.

McNair was an entrepreneur who struggled to find his footing after college. After several failed businesses, he founded Cogen Technologies in 1984, a company that later blossomed into the most profitable energy cogeneration outfits in the world.

McNair battled multiple types of cancer in recent years, but his health situation took a turn for the worst in 2018. We here at PFR extend our condolences to his wife Janice and the rest of his family.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Designate Dylan Cole For IR Return

The first Texans IR-recall move will involve backup linebacker Dylan Cole. The team announced the second-year player will be designated to come off IR.

Cole dislocated his left wrist in Week 3, and could return for the Texans’ Dec. 2 game at the earliest. Houston has 21 days to activate him. If Cole is not activated by that time, he must spend the rest of the season on IR.

An undrafted defender out of Division I-FCS Missouri State, Cole played in 12 Texans games last season and started one. He intercepted two passes — returning one for a touchdown — and registered a sack to go along with 25 tackles. This season, Cole made nine stops in three games.

Houston still has another IR move to make, and ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop points out (via Twitter) Kevin Johnson remains a possibility. The former first-rounder’s been on IR since Sept. 11 because of a concussion, so he’s eligible to return at any point. The fact that a brain injury has kept him out this long is obviously concerning, however.

Kayvon Webster, on IR with a quad injury, also could profile as an IR-return cog. Will Fuller and Seantrel Henderson are out for the season.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/20/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks