The Houston Texans performed their first transaction in over a month by making two roster moves. The organization waived outside linebacker Gerald Rivers after a failed physical and released offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom.
Bergstrom was signed at the start of free agency in 2016 to a two-year deal worth $5.75 million, with $1.5 million guaranteed. Moving on from Bergstrom frees up $2.875 million in cap space for the Texans, leaving only $375k in dead money.
Last season when the Texans signed Bergstrom, they still had their sights set on landing a top center in the draft, which ended up being Nick Martin. Mancz was coming off of major knee surgery from his rookie season in 2015 and his status for camp was up in the air. Bergstrom was signed as injury and veteran insurance, primarily as the back up center. His position on the roster became safe after Martin went down with his ankle injury during training camp, ending his rookie season, while Mancz outperformed Bergstrom during camp to become the starter for the 2016 season. The way the Texans set up the roster for the center position ended up as a positive for the team.
Moving on from Bergstrom signals that the health of Nick Martin and Greg Mancz are where they respectively need to be. Bergstrom was insurance in case of injury but carried a high cap number - higher than what both Mancz (617k) and Martin (667k) are scheduled to make combined in 2017. A money ball mentality is in play here, but Martin and Mancz are clearly the better and younger options at this moment.
With only 3 offensive snaps for Bergstrom in 2016, it made sense to move on.
The Texans moved on from Gerald Rivers who was a practice squad player last season but, with Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney back plus young and developing players Brennan Scarlett and Eric Lee available, not to mention Tony Washington and Ufomba Kamalu as edge options, the Texans have a combination of top end talent and youthful players who will be capable of filling those spots in most any circumstance.
The Texans could be in the market during the draft to add another edge rusher as the team usually carries four outside linebackers on their 53-man roster during the season.
Eric Lee From Rookie Mini-Camp
David Quessenberry Set to Return
Questions regarding the status of David Quessenberry heading into the 2017 season are on their way to being addressed. Being placed on the NFLi list in 2016, the Texans were able to keep Quessenberry under contract, giving him a chance to compete for a roster spot this coming season.
Last season, Quessenberry was around the 280 lbs. during the midway point of the Texans season. He stayed with the team, helping offensive line coach Mike Devlin during practice, keeping rotations of lineman in order, and paying close attention to what Devlin was coaching. Quessenberry’s lymphoma diagnosis went into remission in 2015 but his overall strength was down due to the strain on his body from treatment. Last season, Quessenberry continued chemotherapy and worked at football on the side, in preparation for the 2017 season. With his final chemo treatment ending at the start of the week, now comes the football side of the story.
It has been since 2013 he last touched an actual football field, and that was in week one of that season, when he broke his foot during practice. That injury ended his rookie season and ever since that time, he has been away from the field.
There will be questions on whether he can get back into the flow of the game after being out for so long, with his last significant football snap coming in 2013 during the Senior Bowl. For Quessenberry to put himself in position to touch the field is a story within itself, a moment that both Quessenberry and the Texans have been waiting for.
One thing to Watch is the Texans pre-draft visit list, through which the NFL allows teams to bring players to their facilities for evaluation.
Here is a list of the players who have been confirmed to visit the Texans prior to the NFL draft.
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