March 21, 2018

Houston Texans Sign 10 to Futures/Reserve Contracts for the 2018 Season

The Houston Texans have signed 10 to futures/reserve contracts for the upcoming 2018 season.

What is a reserve-futures contract?

that means they are being signed for the upcoming season. It’s typically a one- or two-year deal at the league minimum based on a number of years of experience in the NFL.

Here are the additions for the upcoming season.

Erick Austell (OG)

A rookie out of Charleston Southern, the Texans added Austell during training camp and did not make the final cut when the preseason ended. The Texans brought back Austell in week 16 and signed him to the practice squad. Austell participated in the NFL Combine and checked in at 6-3 and 301 lbs and was CSU’s first player to ever participate in the combine. Originally an offensive tackle for the Buccaneers, Austell started 10 games in 2016 and graded out at 91.4% for his work during the season. He lead the offense with 84 knockdowns and helped the Buccaneers to the 6th best rushing offense in the nation.


Zach Conque (TE)

Conque was injured early in training camp due to a grade two hamstring injury. Conque met with the Texans brass prior to being waived and was put on the Texans wishlist to bring back when the time was right, Conque was just released from the New York Jets practice squad earlier in the month.

Conquer was signed as a rookie free agent out of Stephen F. Austin and converted him to tight end after playing quarterback for the Lumberjacks. Conque had a strong off-season starting with rookie mini-camp and expectations rose by the end of mandatory mini-camp. The Texans remain high on Conque and like what he brought to the tight end group, other injuries during camp on the team have forced their hand to move on from Conque.

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack quarterback Zach Conque started his career at UTSA before transferring to SFA. At SFA, Conquer started 35 games and there for 6,867 yards with 46 touchdowns and rushed for 1,602 yards and 34 touchdowns.

At the SFA pro-day, Conque ran a 4.59 forty yard dash, with 12 reps on the bench and 36.5 vertical.


Kennan Gilchrist (ILB)

A rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft out of Appalachian State, Gilchrist was signed by the Dallas Cowboys soon after the draft.

At 6-2 and 225 lbs., his smaller stature has him better slated for a hybrid linebacker role and to contribute to special teams.

Appearing in all four games for the Cowboys during the preseason he racked up 10 total tackles in those contests.


Marcus Hardison (DT)

Drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2015 in the 4th round out of Arizona State, Hardison played two seasons for the Bengals.

Hardison was inactive for every game his rookie season and in 2016 his season was ended after an injury in the preseason that resulted in him going to the injured reserve.

Released this past off-season, Hardison spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots practice squads before signing with the Texans late in the season.


Bryce Jones (CB)

One of 17 tryout players to be invited to rookie minicamp after the draft, Bryce Jones was able to lock down a contract heading to training camp. A strong camp, Jones was signed to the practice squad and was with the team the entire stretch of the 2017 season.

Jones started his career at Boston College and started 18 games in his Eagle career, making 97 tackles, including seven for a loss. He recovered three fumbles in 2013 when he was a sophomore. He was dismissed from the team in 2014 for violating team rules and transferred to Akron. In three seasons at Boston College, Jones had 96 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss 3 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries.

Sitting out a season due to transfer rules, Jones played in 12 games for the Zips in 2016 and had 50 total tackles with 3 tackles for loss and 9 pass deflections.

Jones at the Akron Pro-Day ran a 4.67 forty-yard dash, benched 13 reps, vertical jumped 34 inches and broad jumped 10’03”. Checking in at 6-0 and 181 lbs., the Texans continue to look for taller cornerbacks for the defense and add another to the mix for the group.


Troymaine Pope (RB)

Troymaine Pope joined the Texans practice squad mid-season after D’Onta Foreman went down with his season-ending injury.

Pope was signed as a rookie free agent in 2016 by the Seattle Seahawks. In his NFL career, Pope has 12 carries for 44 yards and a reception for 5 yards.

He has also been on the New York Jets active roster and spent time on the Indianapolis Colts practice squad before signing with the Texans.


Jevoni Robinson (TE)

The team has found a development player they want to evaluate more closely and signed tight end Jevoni Robinson to the practice squad at the beginning of the week.

Robinson was born in Jamaica and had some rugby experience early in his life. He moved to North Carolina with his father and played one year of football in high school, but ultimately ended up focusing on basketball. Walking on at NC State, Robinson left to Barry University to continue his basketball career. Then he headed overseas to play professional basketball for one season for Primelab Angri Pallacanestro (Italy-Serie C). The basketball experiment ended after the 2016-2017 season and Robinson headed back to the United States to pursue a career in football.

Two days before Christmas, the Texans had Robinson in the facility and put the tight end prospect through a complete workout to get a better look at the 6’8”, 241 lb. athlete. Robinson posted a mid 4.5 40-yard dash and a 40+ inch vertical, catching the Texans attention.


Jake Rodgers (OT)

Drafted in 2015 in the 7th round out of Eastern Washington by the Atlanta Falcons, the 6-6 320 lbs. offensive tackle has spent the majority of his time on practice squads since entering the NFL.

Jake Rodgers spent time with the New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers before arriving to the Texans.


Josh Thornton (CB)

Josh Thornton attended Southern Utah and went undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft but was signed by the Detriot Lions. Thornton was a two-year starter and was a top priority of the Lions to sign after the draft giving him $30,000 to arrive in Detriot. At Southern Utah, Thorton his final year for the Thunderbirds had 38 total tackles with 11 passes defended with 3 interceptions.

Thornton has also spent time with the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.


Dee Virgin (CB)

Dee Virgin was a three-year starter for Tennessee Chattanooga prior to transferring to West Alabama. At Tennessee Chattanooga, Virgin started 36 of the 39 games and had four interceptions. Starting 11 games for West Alabama, Virgin had 43 total tackles 3 interceptions and 7 pass breakups and he also returned kicks. Virgin appeared at the Alabama pro day and ran a 4.47 forty yard dash, 16 reps on bench press and a 36.5 vertical jump.

Virgin was signed by the Texans after the NFL Draft as a rookie free agent out of West Alabama and has been with the team since the start of the off-season. He had been working primarily with the Texans second defensive unit majority of training camp and during the preseason. Appearing in all three games this preseason for the Texans, Virgin had 6 total tackles with a pass deflection.

Virgin made the initial 53-man roster coming out of training camp but was waived prior to the week one game and has spent the entire season on the practice squad.


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