Colvin, 30, is a 10-year NFL veteran with 52.5 sacks on his resume. He will join the Texans as a complement to right defensive end Mario Williams, and hopefully help bolster a team that ranked 24th in the league in total defense last season.
Colvin signed a three-year deal worth $8.529 million with $1 million guaranteed.
"I feel like we were successful in our efforts during the offseason to address all of the areas we felt we needed to address with the exception of a situational pass rusher," Texans general manager Rick Smith said. "I think this deal obviously does that, and I think it does it in a big way. I expect Rosevelt is really going to be able to contribute significantly to our team on defense. He can get after the passer. He's proven that throughout his career, and I think he will continue to do that."
After almost two weeks of negotiations, Smith was able to land a player he also recruited while working at Purdue. Smith offered Colvin a scholarship to play football for the Boilermakers, and Colvin accepted it. He was eventually a two-time All-Big Ten selection in 1998-99.
This recruiting process was a little different. Colvin is now married with four children. He will be 31 years old when the season starts, and he doesn't want to spend the final years of his career moving his family from one city to another.
"A little more convincing had to come this time around, because I'm 30 years old," Colvin said. "I'm at a point in my life where there are other priorities. Back then, it was just me I had to worry about.
"My big issue, my big hang up was commitment. It was making sure that when I told my wife and children we were moving somewhere, it wasn't for two or three months and we have to pick up and move again. For my children, I like to have them in a stable environment, in a community where they can go to a good school."
Colvin spent the last five years of his career with the New England Patriots, where he won two Super Bowl rings. He battled injuries throughout part of his time there. In 2003, he shattered his right hip socket. But he recovered to lead the Patriots in sacks with seven in 2005 and 8.5 in 2006.
Last season, he injured his foot and missed five games and all of the playoffs. With a base salary of $5.5 million due to him this season, the Patriots released him in February.
"I think just the opportunity to come to a new team, a fresh start, something different is exciting to me," Colvin said. "Sort of the icing on the cake is the young guys that they have, that they've been able to develop the last couple of years on the defensive side of the ball.
"I would never say or try to proclaim that I'm the answer and I'm the going to be the person that's going to propel them to Super Bowl championships, but at the same time, I feel like I'm just a piece of the puzzle. And I think that Houston's got a group of guys that understand that everybody has their specific roles and if you can do your job the best you can then the guy next to you doesn't have to worry about doing it for you."
Anthony Weaver will still likely start at left end, while Colvin will enter the game in passing situations. Williams starts on the right side.
"My passion is rushing the passer," Colvin said. "It's something I feel like I do well. I can bring some experience into a team. I feel like I'm versatile enough to play a couple of different positions. ... As we try to go forward from here, the most important thing is that I remain healthy."
The Opportunity for Colvin in Houston
State of the Texans Top Stories
Mailbag: Reader's Questions on the TexansOpening the mailbag to answer reader's questions on the Houston Texans
State of the TexansThursday at 8:34 PM
Long Shot to Franchise Tag A.J. BouyeA.J. Bouye is preparing to hit the open market with signs pointing to the Houston Texans not using the franchise tag on him.
State of the TexansThursday at 7:44 AM
Texans Tight End Group Needs Big Play AbilityThe Houston Texans tight end group took a positive step in 2016 but need more big play ability heading into 2017.
State of the TexansWednesday at 7:29 PM
Podcast: No Hometown Discounts!The State of the Texans podcast gets going with one on ones with New England Patriots coach Dante Scarnecchia and wide receiver Julian Edelman stop by to talk about the Texans…
State of the TexansWednesday at 7:03 AM
Draft Talk: Texans Can Find the Pass RushersThe Houston Texans are ahead of the rest when it comes to finding pass rushers in the NFL Draft.
State of the TexansTuesday at 7:12 PM