Aaron Wilson: Houston Texans Roster Cut Tracker


(This list will be updated as Texans cuts are made)


The Texans cut wide receiver Keke Coutee, a former fourth-round draft pick from Texas Tech, according to a league source.

The arrival of veteran wide receiver Anthony Miller in a trade from the Chicago Bears ultimately contributed to Coutee being released.

Miller is on the Texans' initial 53-man roster despite suffering a slight dislocated shoulder against the Green Bay Packers. He suffered no structural damage and didn't need to have surgery and is expected to be back for the first game or second game of the regular season.

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The Texans cut veteran offensive guard Lane Taylor with a failed physical designation, according to a source.

Taylor could rejoin the team when he's healthier. Taylor tore his anterior cruciate ligament last season while playing for the Green Bay Packers.

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The Texans cut veteran former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Joe Thomas, according to a league source.

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Running back Scottie Phillips used a strong preseason showing to make the Texans' initial 53-man roster, according to a source.

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The Texans cut veteran offensive lineman Cole Toner, per a league source.

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The Texans cut former New England Patriots offensive guard Hjalte Froholdt, according to a league source.

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The Texans cut wide receiver and kick returner Alex Erickson, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

Erickson, 28, is a 6-foot-0, 195-pound former Cincinnati Bengals special-teams standout who went undrafted out of Wisconsin. He caught 12 passes for 139 yards last season.

For his career, he has 93 receptions for 1,086 yards and one touchdown.

Erickson is an experienced returner with 135 punt returns for 1,074 yards and an 8.0 average and 108 kickoff returns for 2,672 yards and a 24.7 average. He caught a career-high 43 passes for 529 yards in 2019.

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The Texans cut cornerback Ka'Dar Hollman, according to a league source. The Texans recently acquired him from the Green Bay Packers in a trade for a seventh-round draft pick. He's expected to join the practice squad.

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The Texans cut defensive end Derek Rivers, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

Rivers is expected to join the Texans' practice squad.

Derek Rivers sought familiarity and scheme fit during free agency, and his connections drew him to the Texans.

The veteran defensive end was drafted in the third round in 2017 by the Patriots when Texans general manager Nick Caserio was working in New England as Bill Belichick’s right-hand man.

Signed to a one-year contract worth up to $1.35 million that includes a $100,000 signing bonus, Rivers recorded a school-record 41 career sacks as an All-American at Youngstown State along with 55 ½ tackles for losses, 47 quarterback hurries and 119 solo tackles. 

Healthy now after finishing last season with the Los Angeles Rams, Rivers has played in 19 career games and has 2½ sacks, six quarterback hits and three tackles for losses

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The Texans cut safety Jonathan Owens, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

Owens is a speedy former undrafted free agent who spent time last season on the Texans' practice squad and active roster.

Owens, who has run the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds, is the boyfriend of Olympic gold medalist gymnast Simone Biles.

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The Texans are cutting veteran defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

Johnson was competing with DeMarcus Walker at one of the deepest positions on the roster for one of the final spots.

When reached by telephone after his release, Johnson said he was a caught a bit off guard at not making the team.

"'I was a little surprised, actually very surprised by it," Johnson said. "I'm just going to keep working and doing what I've been doing and keep going."

Johnson joined the Texans this offseason on a one-year, $1.3 million contract that included $400,000 guaranteed with a $100,000 signing bonus, a $300,000 base salary guarantee of his $1 million base salary and up to $200,000 in per-game active roster bonuses ($11,764 per game) along with playtime incentive clauses that could net him another $600,000.

Johnson was coming off his most productive season with the Minnesota Viking. He started every game last season for the first time in his career and recorded a career-high 44 tackles as the replacement for Michael Pierce when he opted out of the season due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Two seasons ago, Johnson had a career-high 3 ½ sacks and five tackles for losses.

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The Texans are cutting veteran wide receiver and special-teams standout Chris Moore, according to a league source.

Moore joined the Texans this offseason to play for former Baltimore Ravens receivers coach, passing game coordinator and assistant head coach David Culley.

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The Texans may wind up releasing veteran guard Lane Taylor in a procedural move, according to league sources, but he could return soon as a veteran exemption on the practice squad. 

That move would allow the Texans to have more time to get Taylor ready as he continues to recover from torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last season.

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The Texans cut undrafted rookie offensive lineman Ryan McCollum and plan to sign him to the practice squad if he clears waivers, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

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The Texans are cutting wide receiver Jordan Veasy, according to his agent, Corey Williams.

A former undrafted free agent from Cal, Veasy has played for multiple teams. 

That includes stints with the Washington Football Team, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

Veasy was signed to the Washington practice squad in 2019 after taking part in a workout with quarterback Colin Kaepernick that year.

Veasy is a big, athletic downfield target at 6-foot-3, 221 pounds.

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The Texans cutting former Northern Illinois offensive lineman Jordan Steckler, according to a league source.

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The Texans are cutting fullback-tight end Paul Quessenberry and are expected to sign him to the practice squad if he clears waivers, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

The brother of former Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry, a cancer survivor, Paul Quessenberry served five years in the Marine Corps where he served as a rifle platoon and weapons platoon commander and was a deputy director of the 1st Marine Division school.

Quessenberry has provided a physical presence as a lead blocker at the fullback position.

“He's done a good job being physical," Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly said. "He's done everything we've asked. He's smart, he works his butt off, and we're pleased with Paul. He's done a really good job for us.”

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The Texans are cutting veteran quarterback Jeff Driskel after signing him during the offseason to a one-year, $2.5 million contract, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

The contract included achievable incentive clauses.

Driskel chose the Texans over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Driskel received a $1 million base salary with $500,000 guaranteed for skill, injury and salary cap, a $250,000 signing bonus, up to $500,000 in per-game active roster bonuses and $750,000 in achievable playtime incentives.

Driskel chose the Texans over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A former San Francisco 49ers sixth-round draft pick from Louisiana Tech who began his career at Florida, Driskel has also played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos.

Driskel, 28, has passed for 2,120 career yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has rushed for 309 yards and three scores.

Driskel tested positive for COVID-19 last season with Denver. He was released in May.

In his only season at Louisiana Tech, he passed for 4,026 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Driskel (6-foot-4, 234 pounds) has run the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds.

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The Texans also cut offensive guard Danny Isidora and undrafted rookie offensive lineman Carson Green, according to sources.

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The Texans cut former New England Patriots tight end Ryan Izzo, according to a source. Izzo was acquired in a trade this offseason.

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The Texans are cutting veteran cornerback Rasul Douglas, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

Douglas drew interest from multiple NFL teams, including the New England Patriots, per sources, after being cut by the Las Vegas Raiders.

The former Philadelphia Eagles third-round draft pick from West Virginia adds an experienced presence to the Texans' secondary. He has also played for the Carolina Panthers.

Douglas has 180 tackles, five interceptions, 10 tackles for losses and 34 passes defensed in 60 career games and 29 starts

The New Jersey native led the Big 12 Conference and was named first-team all-league after tying for the lead nationally with eight interceptions.

Douglas (6-foot-2, 209 pounds) has run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.

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The Texans have cut former Alabama defensive back Shyheim Carter, according to a league source. Carter had an interception against the Dallas Cowboys, picking off quarterback Ben DiNucci. If Carter clears waivers, he's expected to join the Texans' practice squad.

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The Texans cut veteran running back and special-teams standout Buddy Howell, according to a league source authorized to speak publicly.

Howell took the high road after being informed of his release from a crowded running back depth chart that includes former Pro Bowl selections Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson as well as versatile former New England Patriots player Rex Burkhead and promising second-year running back Scottie Phillips.

"It wasn't no surprise to me," Howell said in a telephone interview. "I knew somebody had to go. It is what it is when they load up at a position. I appreciate the fans for embracing me and the community. No hard feelings, at all."

Howell had been signed this offseason to a $1.8 million deal that included a $1 million base salary, a $200,000 signing bonus and up to $300,000 in per-game active roster bonuses for a base value of $1.5 million plus not likely to be earned incentives. The Texans had signed Howell to a one-year deal rather than assign him a $2.133 million restricted free agent tender.

Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans

Photo: Getty Images


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