As the Houston Texans look to repair their relationship with franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, they make yet another move that pulls the team in the wrong direction. The Texans made the decision to re-sign cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III on Friday. They also signed inside linebacker Christian Kirksey. These two moves added two of the worst-graded defensive players in the 2021 NFL Free Agency market, per Pro Football Focus.Texans Re-Sign Vernon Hargreaves
Hargreaves joined the Texans in 2019, but 2020 was the first full season he spent with the team. Houston re-signed the cornerback to a one-year contract, which is seemingly a prove-it type of deal.
To this point, the only thing the former 11th overall draft pick has proved is that he doesn’t deserve to be a starter in the NFL. This past season, Hargreaves allowed a 73.1% catch rate. He also gave up six touchdowns and 837 yards, which was the fifth-most in the league. Quarterbacks had a 117.5 passer rating when targeting him. The only starting quarterback to finish the season with a passer rating higher than that was MVP Aaron Rodgers . In other words, Hargreaves makes opposing quarterbacks play like MVPs.
PFF gave Hargreaves a grade of 41.2 on the season. This was the worst among cornerbacks that played at least 550 snaps.
The Texans made another move Friday, signing former Green Bay Packer and Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey. The deal is reported to be worth $4.5 million.
Kirksey has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons. He played just nine regular season games over his final two years with the Browns, then 11 last season for the Packers. While he began the year as a starter for the Packers, the team started to play better once he was out of the lineup.
The inside linebacker finished the regular season with 55 tackles, 10 missed tackles, 18 defensive stops and he gave up five touchdowns with a 86% catch rate through the air. He was the third-worst graded defensive player on the Packers, with a 43.9. Kirksey was also the eighth-worst graded linebacker in the NFL to play at least 500 snaps.