There’s something about August 31st for Houston sports. Two years ago on that day, your Houston Astros traded for Justin Verlander. Yesterday, your Houston Texans traded Jadeveon Clowney to the Seahawks for a very underwhelming return before turning around and sending a king’s ransom to the Dolphins for the right to bring Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills, and a 2020 fourth round pick to Houston.
Amidst all that, the Texans had to whittle their roster down to 53 players by 3 p.m. Although the Clowney and Tunsil trades (not to mention the smaller swaps for Carlos Hyde and Keion Crossen) are not yet entirely official, and there could very well be some additional shuffling as the team signs a player or two who was released by another team, we do know who the team officially says is no longer a Texan. Based on that, this appears to be the initial regular season roster of the 2019 Houston Texans:
Quarterback (2): Deshaun Watson, AJ McCarron
Running Back (4): Duke Johnson, Carlos Hyde, Buddy Howell, Taiwan Jones
Fullback (1): Cullen Gillaspia
Wide Receiver (5): Keke Coutee, DeAndre Carter, Kenny Stills, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller
Tight End (5): Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas, Kahale Warring, Jerell Adams, Darren Fells
Offensive Line (
109): C Nick Martin, C/G Greg Mancz, C/G Zach Fulton, G Senio Kelemete, T Seantrel Henderson, T Laremy Tunsil, G/T Tytus Howard, T Roderick Johnson, T Matt Kalil ,G/T Max Scharping
Defensive Line (6): DE Angelo Blackson, DE J.J. Watt, DE Carlos Watkins, NT D.J. Reader, NT Brandon Dunn, DE Charles Omenihu
Inside Linebacker (4): Dylan Cole, Benardrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham, Peter Kalambayi
Outside Linebacker (4): Brennan Scarlett, Barkevious Mingo, Jacob Martin, Whitney Mercilus
Cornerbacks (6): Johnathan Joseph, Bradley Roby, Lonnie Johnson, Xavier Crawford, Keion Crossen, Aaron Colvin
Safety (4): Tashaun Gipson, Jahleel Addae, A.J. Moore, Justin Reid
SPECIAL TEAMS (3):
Kicker (1): Ka’imi Fairbairn
Punter (1): Trevor Daniel
Long Snapper (1): Jon Weeks
My math puts the Texans at 52 players, so that means either there’s one roster spot available or I forgot someone and thus as poor at counting as a liberal arts major could be. If I’m wrong, kindly correct me below and I’ll update this post. Thanks to Nate for pointing out in the first comment to this post that the two reserve linebackers the Texans acquired in the Clowney trade, Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin, are virtual locks to make Houston’s initial roster, especially with the paucity of other possibilities at OLB. That unofficially puts the Texans at 54 players on the roster, meaning someone can’t stay for dinner.
Nevertheless, there’s no way the Texans will actually carry five (5) tight ends or ten (10) offensive linemen; the most likely scenarios to free up roster spots from those groups would be Warring getting sent to Injured Reserve and Kalil getting released (especially because the latter would save the Texans $5.25 million).
The presumable beneficiary of any cuts to those two groups would be OLB; two players at that position does not a depth chart make. I’m also not entirely sure both Howell and Jones are long for the 53-man roster, whether that means that the team goes with three running backs or believes it can upgrade one of those spots with another running back.
What's your reaction to the Texans' maiden roster as they prepare to head to New Orleans to tangle with the Saints on Monday Night Football?
UPDATE: To no one’s surprise, Matt Kalil has been cut. That brings the roster down to 53.