The Texans extended defensive end Derek Rivers and safety Jonathan Owens through the 2022 season when they were promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
Rivers' two-year deal includes a $1 million base salary in 2022, a $100,000 signing bonus this year, up to $100,000 in per-game active roster bonuses next year, a $50,000 workout bonus and $250,000 in playtime incentives for a total maximum value of $1.4 million next season.
Owens' two-year deal is worth $1.175 million, including the remaining base salaries for this season, along with a $10,000 signing bonus, a $895,000 base salary in 2022 and a $10,000 workout bonus.
A former undrafted free agent from Missouri Western, Owens has been with the Texans for the past three seasons after signing with the Arizona Cardinals out of college.
The boyfriend of Olympic champion Simone Biles, Owens had a 26-yard kickoff return last season and an unassisted tackle Sunday on Indianapolis Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor. He has run the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds.
Rivers was drafted in the third round in 2017 by the New England Patriots when Texans general manager Nick Caserio was working in New England as Bill Belichick’s right-hand man.
He was initially signed to a one-year contract worth up to $1.35 million last offseason that includes a $100,000 signing bonus before being cut and then signed to the practice squad.
The Patriots drafted Rivers after he 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. Caserio's presence was an instrumental reason why Rivers picked the Texans along with having in place coach David Culley and defensive coordinator Lovie Smith.
Rivers is an athletic 6-foot-5, 250-pound pass rusher with 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash who tore his anterior cruciate ligament as a rookie during a joint practice with the Texans at The Greenbrier.
Rivers has played in 22 career games and has 2½ sacks, six quarterback hits and three tackles for losses. He has five tackles in three games this season.
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.