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Texans Release Former First-Round Pick CB Vernon Hargreaves

The Texans parted ways with a former first-round pick on Friday, that being cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.

Hargreaves played in six games last season for the Texans after starting the year with the Buccaneers.

Could WR Will Fuller Be on the Chopping Block for the Texans This Offseason?

Numberfire.com has out a list of one player for each AFC team they think might be on the chopping block this offseason.

For the Texans the site has picked wide out Will Fuller as the player that could find himself released. Here’s what they have to say about Fuller getting cut.

Houston Texans – WR Will Fuller

Dead Cap Hit $0, Cap Saving $10.162M

The Houston Texans find themselves in fairly decent shape cap-wise ahead of the 2020 season. They have an estimated $57 Million in effective cap space, with 55 players currently under contract. So they do not need to make any sweeping changes to the roster. However, I find it hard to believe that they will be comfortable paying Will Fuller the rate he is set to earn next season.

Playing under his fifth-year option, Fuller’s entire salary is fully guaranteed for injury only. And Fuller has a far from spotless injury record. He has missed 18 games over the last four seasons and hasn’t played more than 11 since his rookie season. Fuller amassed a career-high in receiving yards in 2019 with 670. But 217 of those came in a single game, with another 140 in another.

The Texans have averaged nearly three more points per game when Fuller has played over the last three years. But his performances, linked to his injury history, make him something of a risky proposition. I don’t think he’s played his last down for the Texans. Though, I can’t imagine this is the contact he’ll be playing under in 2020.

Texans Backup OL Greg Mancz Has Ankle Surgery

Texans backup center-guard Greg Mancz underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Mancz is expected to make a full recovery for offseason workouts.

Mancz, 27, injured his ankle during the preseason against the Green Bay Packers.

He was limited to nine games and one start. He was sidelined for five games with a concussion suffered against the Carolina Panthers when he absorbed a huge hit at the end of the game.

A former undrafted free agent, Mancz has started 28 of 54 career games.

CB Gareon Conley Has Screw Removed from Right Ankle

Texans cornerback Gareon Conley underwent surgery to remove a screw from his right ankle according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

The procedure is said to be “minor” and McClain reports that Conley should be fully recovered by the time OTAs start this spring. The No.24-overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Ohio State by the Raiders, Conley was considered a bust in Oakland but seemed to fare better after he arrived in Houston in a midseason trade. He compiled 27 tackles in eight games for the Texans and earned solid coverage marks from Pro Football Focus.

Still only 24 years old, Conley is clearly in the Texans plans for 2020 and possibly beyond. He is set to make a very reasonable $1.89 million base salary in 2020 and the team can exercise his fifth-year option for 2021. In a secondary riddled with inconsistencies and in danger of losing No.1 corner Bradley Roby to free agency in March, Conley can be penciled in as a starter next September.

Texans Offensive Tackle Laremy Tunsil Says He’d Love to Stay in Houston

Laremy Tunsil’s world changed plenty in 2019 when he was traded from Miami to Houston.

The deal netted the Dolphins a haul of assets, while it provided the Texans with another pass-catching option in receiver Kenny Stills and a cornerstone left tackle the franchise has lacked since the departure of veteran Duane Brown. Tunsil’s play helped Houston return to the playoffs and earn a postseason win. It also earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl.

With Houston now having answered the question at left tackle and Tunsil entering the final year of his rookie contract, it seems as if all there is left to do — other than attempt to continue the success that the organization enjoyed in 2019 — is to secure Tunsil’s services for many years beyond 2020.

With Tunsil under team control for one more campaign, he’s not spending much time thinking about it, but if he does receive a long-term offer, he’d be content, Nick Shook of NFL.com reports.

“I’m cool with it,” Tunsil said of a potential extension when speaking with NFL.com Thursday.

“Whatever coach decides to do, I’m happy. I’d be happy to stay there with Deshaun (Watson) and help win games.”

Tunsil had to adjust on the fly in 2019, going from a struggling team in Miami to a contending one in Houston. That required learning a whole new offense and developing a familiarity with Watson and his fellow linemen. It also called for developing an understanding of a new coaching staff, locker room and city, something Tunsil described as “a long journey but a smooth process” with which Tunsil said Stills helped plenty.

An unfortunate product of being part of a new offense was a jump in Tunsil’s false start penalties, which Tunsil didn’t avoid acknowledging when asked about his struggles that drew yellow flags.

“I don’t know if that’s something that I can work on,” Tunsil said with a chuckle. “It’s just something that’s mental, you know, you have to lock in a little bit more. New quarterback, new cadence, but everybody don’t look at that. But it’s cool.”

Texans Promote Anthony Weaver as Team’s New Defensive Coordinator

The Texans have promoted defensive line coach Anthony Weaver to be their offensive coordinator in 2020 according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The 39-year-old Weaver will replace longtime Texans DC Romeo Crennel, whose contract has expired and was not retained by head coach Bill O’Brien.

The Texans defense underachieved in 2019, allowing the fifth-most yards in the league and failing to protect a 24-point lead in last week’s AFC Divisional Round loss while allowing the Chiefs to score seven straight touchdowns in a 51-31 loss.

Weaver will have his work cut out for him as the Texans defensive roster lacks difference-makers beyond three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt.

A former defensive end who spent three of his seven NFL seasons in Houston, Weaver has been on Bill O’Brien’s staff since 2016.

Texans WR Will Fuller a ‘Gametime’ Decision, But Expected to Play Against Chiefs

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has termed wide receiver Will Fuller a gametime decision for Sundays AFC Divisional Round game against the Chiefs but the expectation is that Fuller will play “unless anything crazy happens between now and gametime” according to James Palmer of NFL Network.

Fuller missed last week’s overtime win over the Buffalo Bills with a groin injury but has practiced on a limited basis this week.

The Texans have to hope that Fuller can suit up as the passing offense is just not the same without the speedy deep threat.

Quarterback DeShaun Watson has averaged 8.69 YPA and a 7.1% TD rate in 22 games with Fuller compared to 6.99 YPA in 17 games without. Kenny Stills would move into the slot for three-WR sets if Fuller is ultimately active.

Video: Texans Rally From Down 13-0 Lead, Top Bills in AFC Wild Card Game 22-19

Everything was going against the Texans for most of the first three quarters Saturday, but despite being shutout they rallied, and beat the Bills in the AFC the wild card game 22-19 in overtime.