Houston Texans' 2019 free-agent signings: Gipson, Roby help replenish secondary

Tashaun Gipson agreed to terms with the Texans after spending the last three seasons in Jacksonville. Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

A breakdown of the Houston Texans' 2019 free-agent signings.

Tashaun Gipson, safety

The Texans agreed to terms with Gipson on Tuesday. Here's a closer look at the safety who spent the previous three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars:

What it means: The Texans needed -- and still need -- to make moves in the secondary after not re-signing safety Tyrann Mathieu and defensive back Kareem Jackson earlier in the week. General manager Brian Gaine made his first move of free agency by signing Gipson, who was released by the Jaguars in order to create salary-cap space. The 28-year-old started all 48 games he played for Jacksonville and had six interceptions and 16 pass breakups in that span. Gipson will play alongside 2018 third-round draft choice Justin Reid, who impressed in his rookie season. Andre Hal is expected to be the Texans' backup safety.

What's the risk: Even with good seasons from Mathieu, Jackson and Reid, the Texans allowed an average of 260 passing yards per game, which ranked 28th in the NFL. Houston needed to make improvements at safety and cornerback, and while there is still plenty of time -- and the Texans have plenty of money still available to spend in free agency -- signing Gipson to replace Mathieu is not an obvious upgrade.


Bradley Roby, CB

The Texans agreed to terms with Roby to a one-year deal worth up to $10 million on Tuesday. Here's a closer look at the cornerback who spent the previous three seasons with the Denver Broncos:

What it means: Houston continued to upgrade its secondary by signing Roby to replace Jackson, who agreed to terms with the Broncos on Monday. Houston also cut 2015 first-round pick Kevin Johnson before the start of free agency. Roby will start alongside veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph, and Aaron Colvin is expected to be Houston's slot corner. The Texans are likely not done improving at the position as they only have three cornerbacks on the roster, but that move could come in the draft rather than free agency.

What's the risk: The Texans have the money, so even at $10 million, this is a low-risk deal because it's for just one year. Roby, 26, played in 15 games last season and had 50 tackles, an interception, two forced fumbles and 12 passes defensed.


Briean Boddy-Calhoun, cornerback

The Texans signed Briean Boddy-Calhoun to a one-year deal Friday. Here’s a closer look at the cornerback who spent the previous three seasons with the Cleveland Browns:

What it means: Boddy-Calhoun adds some much-needed depth at cornerback as he is just the fourth player at that position on the roster for the Texans. Last season for the Browns, Boddy-Calhoun played primarily slot corner, finishing the season with 56 tackles, a forced fumble and two passes defensed. Cornerback Aaron Colvin also has experience playing in the slot, so he and Boddy-Calhoun could be competing for playing time.

What’s the risk: The Texans went low-risk in the secondary by signing Boddy-Calhoun to a cheap one-year deal. Boddy-Calhoun started 15 games in the past two seasons for Cleveland and brings some competition to the Texans’ cornerback position, but it remains to be seen whether he will be a major contributor to Houston in 2019.