Center Chris Myers re-signed on Saturday morning, but the Texans will have two new starting offensive linemen in 2012. Right guard Mike Brisiel signed with the Oakland Raiders on Friday, and right tackle Eric Winston was released on Tuesday.
Waiting to step in are Antoine Caldwell at right guard and Rashad Butler at right tackle. Caldwell, a third-round draft pick in 2009, has started 13 games at right guard in three seasons. Butler, who has been with the Texans since 2007, started four games for suspended left tackle Duane Brown in 2010.
“I think they’ve both played tremendous when they get in, and I think that they’re ready for the challenge,” Myers said on Saturday. “I’m anxious to see how it’s going to pan out. I’ve got the utmost faith and confidence in ‘em.”
Myers thinks Caldwell and Butler could make a smooth transition into the starting lineup, although, as he pointed out, “you’ll never know until it gets down into the season time, when they’re playing week in and week out.” How quickly they establish chemistry with the rest of the line will be critical — Brisiel started 47 games with the Texans, Winston 87.
“Obviously, they’ve got big shoes to fill, and I think Antoine and Rashad know that,” Myers said. “They have plenty of playing experience, so it’s going to be something they’re un-familiar to. They’re very familiar with the system and they’re very familiar with the offense and the guys around them. So it’s going to be kind of an easy stepping-stone.
“I don’t think it’s [like] a situation when we have someone brand new coming in here. It’s going to be a lot easier for them to get the transition going to be the starters week in and week out than it would be to have a free agent coming in here or a rookie coming in here and learning everything.”
Tags: Antoine Caldwell, Chris Myers, Eric Winston, Free agency, Mike Brisiel, Rashad Butler
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The Texans have reached an agreement on a new contract with Pro Bowl center Chris Myers, an unrestricted free agent, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The move is not yet official as it has not been announced by the Texans. Schefter reports that Myers’ deal will be good for four years and $25 million with $14 million fully guaranteed.
The Texans lost starting right guard Mike Brisiel to the Oakland Raiders on Friday evening and released starting right tackle Eric Winston before free agency began on Tuesday, so re-signing Myers would be a huge move for maintaining continuity on one of the league’s best offensive lines.
Myers has started 64 consecutive games for the Texans since being acquired from Denver for a sixth-round pick in 2008. He makes all of the calls at the line of scrimmage in the Texans’ zone blocking scheme and in 2011 became the first lineman in team history to make the Pro Bowl.
UPDATE: Here’s Myers on Twitter (@CMyers55) on Friday evening: “Let me first say thank you to all of the dedicated #Texansfans out there. I am extremely happy to stay here in Houston and be a Texan! Can’t wai to get back down to work and build on last seasons success! Thank you all again!!! #TexansNation”
Tags: Chris Myers, Eric Winston, Free agency, Mike Brisiel
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Mike Brisiel, the Texans’ primary starter at right guard since 2008, has signed with the Oakland Raiders. Next in line at the position is Antoine Caldwell, a third-round draft pick out of Alabama in 2009 who has started 13 games in three seasons.
Caldwell (6-3, 311) started seven games in 2010, when Arian Foster led the league in rushing, and three in 2011. He competed with Brisiel for the starting right guard spot in both of the last two training camps.
Caldwell and Brisiel shared playing time in the first half of the 2010 season. Brisiel eventually won the job but suffered a season-ending injury with four games remaining, putting Caldwell back in the lineup. Caldwell was limited in 2011 by a high-ankle sprain suffered in the first preseason game.
At Alabama, Caldwell started 34 games at center, 12 at left guard, one at right guard and one at right tackle. He was a two-time captain for the Crimson Tide and was the first Alabama football player to earn his degree in less than three years.
Tags: Antoine Caldwell, Free agency, Mike Brisiel
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ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news on Twitter. Brisiel’s agent, Jeff Sperbeck, tweeted “Congrats to #MikeBrisiel of @thenovoagency who’s about to become the newest @Raiders.” And Brisiel told Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports that he has agreed to a five-year deal, which Berman says is worth about $20 million.
“I’m excited, I am,” Brisiel said, according to Berman. “It’s going to be a new chapter in my life. So it’s going to be exciting.”
Raiders offensive line coach Frank Pollack coached Brisiel in Houston from 2007-11, and Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp was the Texans’ quarterbacks coach for the last two seasons.
The Texans signed Brisiel as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State in 2006. After getting cut twice and spending the spring of 2007 in NFL Europe, Brisiel started 47 games over the last five seasons. He consistently graded out as one of the Texans’ top linemen when healthy, although he missed 18 games due to injuries from 2009-11. Brisiel routinely played through injuries, including last season in Week 14 at Cincinnati, when he played the entire second half with a broken leg.
“It’s sad [to leave the Texans],” Brisiel said, per Berman. “It’s one of those things that I thank them for everything, giving me the opportunity, sticking with me through some rough times. I couldn’t be more happy about the way (last) season happened and I [will] always be one of those Texans’ diehards at heart.”
UPDATE: The Raiders have officially announced that Brisiel is a Raider.
Tags: Free agency, Mike Brisiel
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It’s no surprise that Oakland is interested in Brisiel, who has been the Texans’ starting right guard since late in the 2007 season. Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp was the Texans’ quarterbacks coach from 2010-11, and Raiders offensive line coach Frank Pollack was the Texans’ assistant O-line coach from 2007-11.
Dreessen had a team and career-high six touchdown catches in 2011 as the Texans’ second tight end.
Tags: Free agency, Joel Dreessen, Mike Brisiel
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Texans nose tackle Shaun Cody and linebacker Connor Barwin, the stars of “On the Nose” on Texans TV, started a grassroots Twitter campaign on Tuesday evening to try to keep their free agent teammates Mario Williams and Chris Myers in Houston.
It started with these two tweets from Cody (@ShaunCody95) around 7:30 p.m.:
“Come on Texans fan. We need to keep these guys. Everyone needs to pitch in.”
“I’m gonna pay for Marios gas for all his cars for a week . And I’m takin care of Myers landscaping #whatugot”
Barwin (@ConnorBarwin98) retweeted Cody, then added this:
“Yo Mario I will pay for all of your dogs food for a year…or until we win a superbowl!”
Here are some of the tweets that poured in from fans:
@garciarafael65: @ConnorBarwin98 @ShaunCody95 I know somebody that can mess with their power meter so they won’t have a light bill. Lol #houstonwhatugot
@erinjhonson: @connorbarwin98 @shauncody95 I’ll quit college FB,take out loans,sell my car,future kids and body for Mario to stay…
@mikenhtown: @shauncody95 I will name my kid that’s on the way Mario Christopher even if it’s a girl #houstonwhatugot
@jeremy77338: will change my name 2 Luigi throw fireballs at turtles n give him all the coins I collect along the way #houstonwhatugot
@realjakebrown: @ShaunCody95 I will also make both myers an Mario sack lunches everyday til we win a superbowl #houstonwhatugot #whatugot
@Nachopuncher: @ShaunCody95 I’ll spring for a few grande meals at taco bell
@mikeblair3: @ShaunCody95 I got all the o-lines’ water bills as long as they don’t have pools
@thechile: @ShaunCody95 I will buy air fresheners for all of Mario’s cars and buy a months supply of razors and shaving gel for @CMyers55 for his head
@RyanWKitchen: @ShaunCody95 –Free house keeping and baby sitting ! And I’ll cook them breakfast lunch and dinner.. And I’ll pay their bar tabs!
@Rwoodson: @ShaunCody95 will give mario my NES with super Mario bros and duck hunter. #classic
@RyanG747: @ShaunCody95 I’ll drive both of you to and from games. It’ll save both of yall money! #whatugot
@JakesAndGigEm: @ShaunCody95 I’ll do Mario’s dishes.
@HeberLinares: @ShaunCody95 I’ll clean their bathrooms & bring them taquitos for breakfast.
@NYC_Texan: @ConnorBarwin98 @ShaunCody95 we will rename Buffalo Speedway into Mario Speedway #houstonwhatugot
@Alexander_Bites: @ShaunCody95 @ConnorBarwin98 I offer a years service translating @ArianFoster tweets.
@KevoG_13: @ConnorBarwin98 @ShaunCody95 I’ll mow Mario, Myers, and Briesel’s lawns for a month free of charge!! #houstonwhatugot
Satisfied with his work after apparently seeing that Williams would not be signing with Buffalo on Tuesday night, Cody tweeted the following:
Good job houstonians. Mario’s didn’t sign and he’s flyin back home. We won the battle but the wars not over. #heheardus #houstonwhatugot
Tags: Chris Myers, Connor Barwin, Free agency, Mario Williams, Mike Brisiel, Shaun Cody
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After appearing on “Texans All Access” this afternoon, Texans chairman and CEO Bob McNair had a brief interview session with local media at the SportsRadio 610 AM studios.
With about 90 minutes from the time of his interview to the 3 p.m. CT start of free agency, McNair was asked about impending unrestricted free agent Mario Williams.
“We want Mario,” McNair said. “We’d like to have him. Unfortunately, other people would like to have him, too, and it depends on how much they’re willing to pay. We have limitations that constrain us, and we’re going to do everything we possibly can to keep him here. We’ve got Chris Myers. We want to keep him. We’ve got [Mike] Brisiel, we’ve got [Joel] Dreessen, we’ve got a lot of guys that we would like to keep, and so we’re trying to keep that core group together as best we can, and that’s our focus.”
McNair was asked if he has gotten a sense from general manager Rick Smith of whether there’s a priority as to which of their free agents the Texans hope to re-sign.
“We’re not the only party making the decision in this whole process,” McNair said. “The player has to make a decision. And so we don’t know what the players will do, and until we see what the market says in terms of their value and what we can work out with ‘em, what they are agreeable to do, we really don’t know which players we have the best chance of re-signing. We’d like to re-sign all of ‘em, but there’s a lot of it that’s just out of our control. And so we’ll move through that process, and Rick and [vice president of football administration] Chris [Olsen] will do a good job.”
Tags: Bob McNair, Chris Myers, Free agency, Joel Dreessen, Mario Williams, Mike Brisiel
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CB Jason Allen
S Dominique Barber
G Mike Brisiel
DE Tim Bulman
QB Jake Delhomme
ILB Tim Dobbins
TE Joel Dreessen
QB Jeff Garcia
WR Bryant Johnson
C Chris Myers
K Neil Rackers
G Kasey Studdard
P Matt Turk
RB Derrick Ward
OLB Mario Williams
S Quintin Demps
(RB Arian Foster – signed March 6)
(LS Jon Weeks – signed March 5)
Tags: Arian Foster, Bryant Johnson, Chris Myers, Derrick Ward, Dominique Barber, Free agency, Jake Delhomme, Jason Allen, Jeff Garcia, Joel Dreessen, Jon Weeks, Kasey Studdard, Mario Williams, Matt Turk, Mike Brisiel, Neil Rackers, Quintin Demps, Tim Bulman, Tim Dobbins
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 6 Comments »
The NFL free agency period begins on Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT, less than 24 hours from now. We’ll have every Texans angle covered right here.
The Texans do not expect to be as active in free agency as they were in 2011, when they signed cornerback Johnathan Joseph and free safety Danieal Manning to long-term deals. Their top priority is re-signing their own players, including outside linebacker Mario Williams and center Chris Myers. Both Pro Bowlers will become unrestricted free agents unless the Texans sign them before tomorrow’s deadline.
The Texans have made it clear they want both players back. Williams said on Feb. 16 that it would “mean a lot” if he could stay in Houston and that he isn’t necessarily looking to become the highest-paid defensive player in the league. Myers said a couple weeks later that he wants to remain a Texan but was feeling out the free agency process.
Other notable impending free agents are right guard Mike Brisiel, who has started for the Texans since 2008; tight end Joel Dreessen, who led the Texans with six touchdowns catches in 2011; kicker Neil Rackers, who set a team record with 135 points last season; and cornerback Jason Allen, who has seven interceptions for the Texans while sharing playing time with Kareem Jackson over the last two seasons.
Tags: Chris Myers, Free agency, Jason Allen, Joel Dreessen, Mario Williams, Mike Brisiel, Neil Rackers
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Also like Foster, however, Brisiel says he would like to remain with the Texans.
“Especially a place like this, you always want to stick with the team that you’ve had success with,” Brisiel said. “I think this team’s so hungry, and nobody’s taken this last season for granted. We want more. Everybody saw how close we were, and we know what it’s gonna take to get over that hump. It’s gonna be a fun thing to be a part of. I hope I’ll get a chance.”
Brisiel, a key cog in the Texans’ offensive line and the captain of this year’s USA Today All-Joe Team, is entering his fifth full season in the NFL. He signed a one-year contract last July as a restricted free agent.
Undrafted in 2006, Brisiel has started 43 games over the last four seasons while missing 19 due to injury. He played through a broken fibula against the Bengals this season, then had surgery a day later and missed only three games before returning to the lineup for the playoffs. He’s currently rehabbing from postseason arthroscopic surgery on his ankle, a minor procedure that was done to clean up a minor past injury.
“I honestly don’t know what’s in store for me because I’m a free agent this year,” Brisiel said, “but however that goes, I’ll be ready to go.”
Tags: Arian Foster, Free agency, Mike Brisiel
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 7 Comments »