Week 1 Review

September 15th, 2015

This is the start of my review of the Texans of the week.  This will be a summary of transactions & roster moves made through the past week.  I do not have very much knowledge when it comes to X’s and O’s so I won’t be able to give you much insight to the games played on Sundays.  But I will post snap counts for all the players each week.

I will be posting my weekly reviews on Tuesday evenings during the regular season.  The league week starts at 4PM EST each Tuesday, at which point the players on the roster are paid for the upcoming week of work.  Some players have contracts with bi-weekly pay, but the point is each week the league week ends/starts at 4PM EST on Tuesdays.  This is why you commonly see NFL teams conduct most of their player transactions on Tuesdays.  So let’s see what happened during the first week of the season for the Texans.

1.  Vested Veterans Contracts Guaranteed

At the start of the regular season, which for the Texans was Saturday 12th at 3PM, all vested veterans on the active roster have their salaries essentially guaranteed.  A player must accrue 4 seasons to become a vested veteran.  To accrue a season, the player must be on a team’s active roster or injured reserve for a minimum of 6 weeks.  The base salary for a vested veteran is guaranteed at the start of the season through means of “termination pay”.  The CBA grants a vested veteran the right to claim his full base salary if he is released during the regular season.  However a player can only use this termination pay option once in their career.  If a vested veteran is released after week 4, he can opt for termination pay to receive the full 17 week salary versus being paid 4 weeks.  This also effects the salary cap over two seasons.  An example would be a vested veteran with a $1,000,000 base salary is released after week 5.  The player will still account for $1,000,000 towards the salary cap as “dead money”.  If the player signs with another team for the remaining 12 weeks of the season, at a $1,000,000 salary; then the Texans would receive a $705,882 offsetting credit towards the salary cap in 2016.

2.  Two Players Released with Injury Settlements

Lynden Trail and Tony Washington were both released from the Reserve/Injured list with injury settlements on September 11th.  Trail received a $46,294 settlement and Washington received a $26,294 settlement.  By receiving this settlement the players are released from the Reserve/Injured list and are subject the waiver system.  Both players went unclaimed and are now unrestricted free agents free to sign with any team, except for the Texans.  A player released with an injury settlement cannot resign with that same team for a period of 6 weeks plus the time given in the settlement.  The settlement amount is the agreed upon amount between the team & player.  This amount usually reflects salary for the amount of time it would take for the player to become healthy and pass a team physical.  The team gained ~$563,000 in cap space as a result of these two settlements.

3.  Ryan Griffin designed to Reserve/Injured for Return

News came out today that the Texans designated tight end Ryan Griffin to the Reserve/Injured list with the Return designation after spraining his MCL against the Chiefs.  The team can use the “return” designation for one player during the season.  Griffin will miss the next 8 games, but can start practicing with the team after 6 weeks (week 7).  Ryan Griffin was a 6th round draft choice in 2013 so he likely has a split salary designation.  During this 8 week period, Griffin’s salary will drop from $585,000 to $348,000.  Essentially Griffin will receive pro-rated salary (off of $585,000) for 9 weeks and pro-rated salary (off of $348,000) for 8 weeks.  If the Texans do not sign another player tomorrow, the team will operate off of a 52 man roster for Week 2 of the season.

4.  Jon Weeks 4 Year Extension

Jon Weeks was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract when the 2015 season started.  Weeks is one of the best long snappers in the NFL and he has yet to miss a start during his tenure with the Houston Texans.  The team rewarded Weeks, on September 7th, with a 4 year extension that will keep Weeks on the team through the 2019 season.  Weeks received a $250,000 signing bonus and a $80,000 salary increase, up to $825,000, for the 2015 league year.  Weeks now has the 15th highest base salary among long snappers in 2015, projected to be 9th in 2016, and 7th in 2017.  This will likely be the only contract extension for the remainder of the year since the Texans have a standing rule of no contract negotiations during the regular season.

5.  Weekly Roster Bonuses 

The Texans use active game day roster bonuses for many of their top & middle tier players.  The player has an annual roster bonus, which is paid out each week the player is on the 46 man game day active roster.  Arian Foster is the only player that did not earn his weekly roster bonus ($31,250).  The following players did receive their bonus:

Player Name Roster Bonus Amount
Johnathan Joseph $31,250
Brian Cushing $78,125
Kareem Jackson $15,625
Brian Hoyer $31,250
Garrett Graham $15,625
Ryan Mallett $62,500
Rahim Moore $31,250
Akeem Dent $15,625
Cecil Shorts $15,625
Chris Polk $6,250

6.  Week 1 Snap Counts

Offense:  77 Total Plays

Brian Hoyer 59 77%
Ryan Mallett 18 23%
Wide Receivers
DeAndre Hopkins 77 100%
Nate Washington 65 84%
Cecil Shorts 63 82%
Keith Mumphrey 12 16%
Running Backs
Jonathan Grimes 41 53%
Alfred Blue 22 29%
Chris Polk 14 18%
Jay Prosch 3 4%
Tight Ends
Ryan Griffin 36 47%
C.J. Fiedorowicz 34 44%
Garrett Graham 18 23%
Offensive Line
Ben Jones 77 100%
Jeff Adams 77 100%
Duane Brown 77 100%
Brandon Brooks 77 100%
Derek Newton 77 100%

Jaelen Strong, Keshawn Martin, and Chris Clark both were active for game day, both played zero offensive snaps.  Arian Foster was in-active for the game.

Defensive:  70 Total Plays

Defensive Line
Jared Crick 70 100%
J.J. Watt 68 97%
Vince Wilfork 53 76%
Jeoffrey Pagan 6 9%
Christian Covington 2 3%
Brian Cushing 70 100%
Akeem Dent 51 73%
Whitney Mercilus 43 61%
John Simon 42 60%
JaDaveon Clowney 30 43%
Justin Tuggle 4 6%
Defensive Backs
Rahim Moore 70 100%
Kareem Jackson 70 100%
Johnathan Joseph 67 96%
Quintin Demps 61 87%
Kevin Johnson 34 49%
Eddie Pleasant 15 21%
A.J. Bouye 9 13%
Andre Hal 5 7%

Darryl Morris was active for the game but played zero defensive snaps.  Jumal Rolle & Lonnie Ballentine were both in-active.

7.  Cap Space Update After Week 1

After the transactions completed this week, the Texans now have ~$3.940 million in available cap space.






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