Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) against the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2024 AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Texans WR Stefon Diggs’ contract only for one season

New Houston Texans wide receiver Stefon Diggs will be a free agent following the 2024 season after having the final three years of his contract “wiped out,” ESPN reported Thursday.

Diggs will make $22.52 million in guaranteed money in 2024 after the Texans moved the $3.5 million he’s owed in 2025 to this season, per the report.

The Bills traded the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver on Wednesday in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft. The Texans also get a 2024 sixth-round pick and 2025 fifth-round pick, per reports. The Bills’ second-rounder is via the Minnesota Vikings.

Diggs turns 31 in November but produced at a high level since the Bills acquired him from the Minnesota Vikings in 2020.

He and the Bills were at odds multiple times since he signed a four-year, $96 million contract with $70 million guaranteed in April 2022.

Diggs has 810 career catches for 9,995 yards and 67 touchdowns in 136 games (128 starts) with the Vikings (2015-19) and Bills.

Diggs joins an offense that now includes running back Joe Mixon, whom the Texans also traded for to bolster weapons for second-year quarterback C.J. Stroud. Tank Dell and tight end Dalton Schultz are also in place for 2024.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) speak prior to the game against the New York Giants at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Bills GM: ‘Timing made sense’ for Stefon Diggs trade

Trading star wide receiver Stefon Diggs was not an easy decision, according to Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane.

“These moves are never easy — very hard, not made overnight, anything like that — but any time you make a move like this, as I said, very difficult, you’re doing it because you’re trying to win,” Beane said summarizing his thought process in dealing Buffalo’s four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to the Houston Texans.

“Sometimes people may not see that. This is by no means the Bills giving up or trying to take a step back or anything like that. Everything we do, we’re trying to win, and we’re going to continue to do that. It’s April … we’ll continue to work on this roster and make sure we’re ready to play come September.”

The Bills are absorbing a massive dead cap hit — $31.1 million — to reset the depth chart at wide receiver. In return, Buffalo picked up a second-round pick in the 2025 draft.

Diggs, 30, had at least 1,100 yards in each of his four seasons with the Bills. But he hasn’t always lived a harmonious existence in Buffalo and spent part of last offseason away from the team in an apparent rift with the coaching staff.

Beane said “it’s not the first time we’ve been called to ask would we move him” but felt the timing and value was right before he stamped the trade with the Texans on Wednesday.

“I think with this move, as we’re talking with Houston in this case the last couple days, the value seemed to make sense and the timing made sense for them and for us,” Beane said.

The deal leaves quarterback Josh Allen with little familiarity in the WR room.

Before Diggs was traded, the Bills lost free agent Gabe Davis to the Jacksonville Jaguars and signed free agent Curtis Samuel. Khalil Shakir is the team’s top returning receiver with 39 receptions for 611 yards and two touchdowns in 2023.

Diggs led the NFL with 127 catches and 1,535 yards in his first season with the Bills in 2020. He totaled 37 TDs over four years as Allen’s go-to guy outside.

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) reacts after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Texans’ futures close in on AFC elite with Stefon Diggs

The Houston Texans have spent the offseason strategically adding to their young roster in an effort to close the gap on their AFC competitors.

They took their boldest step with Wednesday’s trade for wide receiver Stefon Diggs. News of the deal with the Buffalo Bills caused oddsmakers to immediately adjust the futures markets for both teams, along with division, league and even Super Bowl odds.

When the offseason began, the Texans were +2000 at DraftKings to win the Super Bowl and +1100 to win the AFC Championship. Despite adding veteran running back Joe Mixon during the first few weeks of the new league season, Houston’s odds had lengthened a bit to +2500 and +1200, respectively, by March 25.

That all changed significantly with Wednesday’s blockbuster move, which will see the Texans send a 2024 second-round pick to the Bills while receiving a sixth-round pick this year and a fifth-round pick in 2025.

DraftKings told Field Level Media their oddsmakers immediately trimmed Houston’s Super Bowl odds to +1200, giving the Texans the seventh-shortest odds at the book. Meanwhile, their AFC title odds shifted to the fifth-shortest at +850 and their odds of winning the AFC North moved from +135 to +115.

The reaction was similar at other sportsbooks.

Houston’s Super Bowl odds shortened from +2200 to +1600 at BetRivers, where their AFC title odds moved from +1000 to +750. At BetMGM, the Texans’ odds moved from +1600 to +1500 and from +650 to +750, respectively.

BetMGM maintained the team’s Over/Under win total at 9.5 games, but the price moved from -100 to -145 on the Over and from -110 to +120 on the Under.

The impact was predictably the opposite for Buffalo’s futures.

After opening at +900 at DraftKings, the Bills are now at +1200 to win the Super Bowl. They have also moved from +475 to +700 to win the AFC, with the Texans now right behind them.

Buffalo’s Super Bowl odds moved from +1200 to +1400 at BetRivers. However, they went unchanged at BetMGM, where the Bills’ win total market also remained at 10.5 games. The price did shift from -120 to +100 on the Over and from +100 to -120 on the Under.

Bills Super Bowl
–Opened: +900
–3/25: +1100
–Currently: +1200

Texans Super Bowl
–Opened: +2000
–3/25: +2500
–Currently: +1600

Bills AFC
–Opened: +475
–3/25: +550
–Currently: +700

Texans AFC
–Opened: +1100
–3/25: +1200
–Currently: +850

Bills AFC East
–Opened: +130
–3/25: +135
–Current: +160

Texans AFC South
–Opened: +160
–3/25: +135
–Currently: +115

The trade ends Diggs’ sometimes rocky tenure in Buffalo, where he has earned Pro Bowl honors all four seasons.

Buffalo entered the offseason $47 million over the salary cap and has lost multiple starters from the division championship roster.

Diggs turns 31 in November but has produced at a high level since the Bills acquired him from the Minnesota Vikings in 2020.

Houston’s financial commitment could be just one season because of the structure of guaranteed cash payouts. The Texans can part with Diggs after the 2024 season if desired without a cap hit because his $18 million salary for 2025, $19.1 million for 2026 and $14.5 million in 2027 isn’t guaranteed.

Diggs and the Bills were at odds multiple times since he signed a four-year, $96 million contract with $70 million guaranteed in April 2022. Almost exactly two years later, Buffalo hit reset at the wide receiver position.

Khalil Shakir, a fifth-round pick in 2022, is the top returning wide receiver from the 2023 season with 39 receptions for 611 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to Diggs, No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis (45 receptions, seven TDs in 2023) signed with the Jaguars in free agency.

Buffalo has added two receivers — Commanders free agent Curtis Samuel and former Falcons receiver Mack Hollins.

Samuel has four career 50-plus-catch seasons and had 126 total receptions the past two seasons. Diggs caught 215 passes for 3,613 yards and 19 touchdowns since he signed the new deal with the Bills on April 6, 2022.

Diggs has 810 career catches for 9,995 yards and 67 touchdowns in 136 games (128 starts) with the Minnesota Vikings (2015-19) and Bills.

Diggs joins an offense that, in addition to Mixon, also includes second-year quarterback C.J. Stroud, wide receivers Nico Collins, Tank Dell, Noah Brown and Robert Woods and tight end Dalton Schultz.

–Field Level Media

Aug 5, 2022; Houston, Texas, US; Houston Texans linebacker Neville Hewitt (43) signs autographs after training camp at the Texans practice facility.  Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Texans to sign LB Neville Hewitt

Free-agent linebacker Neville Hewitt is signing a one-year contract to rejoin the Houston Texans, ESPN reported on Wednesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed for Hewitt, who led the NFL in special teams tackles (14) last season with the Texans.

Hewitt, who turns 31 on April 6, totaled 440 tackles, 7.5 sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in 129 career games (44 starts) with the Miami Dolphins (2015-17), New York Jets (2018-20) and Texans.

He entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

–Field Level Media

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

Bears, Texans to meet in Hall of Fame game

The Chicago Bears and Houston Texans will meet in the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

The Hall of Fame announced the participants on Tuesday, and the teams were natural selections. Three former members of the Bears — Devin Hester, Steve McMichael and Julius Peppers — and Andre Johnson from the Texans are among the members of the organization’s 2024 class.

The game is set for Aug. 1 in Canton, Ohio, with the Hall of Fame enshrinement following Aug. 3.

Dwight Freeney, Randy Gradishar and Patrick Willis also will be inducted during ceremonies.

Johnson will be the first player who played the majority of his career with the Texans to have a bust in Canton. With the three additions, 32 former Bears will be in the Hall of Fame.

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (78) walks off the field before the game against the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Texans LT Laremy Tunsil undergoes knee surgery

Houston Texans Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to address an injury that forced him to miss three games in 2023, NFL Network and KPRC reported Sunday.

Tunsil, 29, is expected to make a quick recovery and be ready for offseason activities, per the reports.

According to KPRC, Tunsil had the knee drained a few times last season, after which he earned his fourth Pro Bowl honor. Tunsil still started 14 games and both postseason games.

Tunsil has started all 108 games he’s played in since being selected No. 13 overall in the 2016 draft by the Miami Dolphins.

Tunsil signed a three-year extension worth $75 million in March 2023 that will keep him under contract through the 2026 season.

–Field Level Media

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates after the 34-13 win over Washington to win the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Vikings acquire No. 23 overall pick from Texans

Minnesota added another first-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, acquiring the 23rd overall pick from the Houston Texans on Friday, according to multiple reports.

The trade gives the Vikings a pair of first-rounders with their own selection at No. 11 and No. 23. They gave up their 2024 (No. 42 overall) and 2025 second-round picks along with their sixth-round pick (188th) in 2024.

Houston also sends a seventh-round pick in 2024 — No. 232 overall — to the Vikings.

The Vikings previously traded their 2024 second-round pick to the Detroit Lions to acquire tight end T.J. Hockenson.

Reports indicate the Vikings are weighing a move up in the draft. Minnesota hasn’t drafted in the top 10 since 2014, when they selected linebacker Anthony Barr. They last drafted a quarterback in the first round in 2011, using the 12th overall pick on Christian Ponder.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins left on the first day of free agency for a deal too rich for Minnesota’s liking — four years, $180 million — prompting the Vikings to sign 26-year-old Sam Darnold to a one-year, $10 million deal. He has 56 career starts with three teams since being drafted by the New York Jets as the No. 3 overall pick in 2018.

“I’m not going to call him a bridge quarterback, but he’s a quarterback that’s on our roster under contract for a year,” Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said of Darnold. “Ultimately at the end of the day, the position is about how do you run Kevin’s offense? How do you overcome when the play is not there? There’s different skill sets that go into the position. That’s how we evaluate it. The contract itself is a series of options to stay or go.”

Head coach Kevin O’Connell said he first met Darnold when he was coaching a 7-on-7 camp, and quarterbacks coach Josh McCown is also familiar with Darnold.

O’Connell didn’t show his hand on the larger plan at quarterback or vision for the pecking order at a position that was problematic without Cousins in 2023.

“The most important thing is that alignment and the understanding that our plan’s in place. Kwesi’s used the word contingency plans, but those are all discussions and paths and avenues we can take at a very, very important position,” O’Connell said. “In the end, as much as I would’ve maybe liked to have Kirk here, the right thing moving forward for our team is where we are today.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) and cornerback Mekhi Blackmon (5) as wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) looks to block during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Texans land coveted free agent DE Danielle Hunter

Four-time Pro Bowl pass-rusher Danielle Hunter, perhaps the biggest remaining free agent, is leaving the Minnesota Vikings and joining the Houston Texans on a two-year, $49 million deal, multiple reports said Tuesday.

The agreement, which clears the way for a homecoming of sorts, is reported to include a guaranteed $48 million. Hunter, 29, was born in Jamaica and grew up in Katy, Texas.

He was drafted in the third round by Minnesota in 2015 and played 119 games (90 starts) over eight seasons.

The 6-foot-5, 263-pound Hunter, who missed the 2020 season and a good part of 2021 with injuries, played on a one-year contract last season. In Houston, he will be expected to fill the shoes of departed Texans edge rusher Jonathan Greenard, who signed with Minnesota.

Hunter compiled a career-high 16.5 sacks last season, giving him 87.5 during his tenure with the Vikings. He also led the NFL with 23 tackles for loss.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans defensive end Dylan Horton (92) in action during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Texans DE Dylan Horton in remission from Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Houston Texans defensive end Dylan Horton announced Monday that his Hodgkin’s lymphoma is in remission.

Horton was diagnosed on Dec. 1 of last year, three months into his rookie season in the NFL. He was moved onto the reserve/non-football illness list.

“Through God’s grace, I’m blessed to say that I’m currently in remission,” Horton said in a statement. “I am grateful for the love from my family and friends, and support from the Texans organization and my doctors. My next objective is to complete my treatments, then get back to playing the game that I love. Thank you for your prayers and support as I continue this journey.”

Born in Houston and raised in Frisco, Texas, Horton got into 10 games for the Texans in 2023 after they drafted him out of TCU in the fourth round of last April’s draft. He made 13 tackles and recovered a fumble.

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans place kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn (15) makes a field goal against the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Texans re-sign PK Ka’imi Fairbairn to 3-year deal

Houston kept kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn from free agency by re-signing him on Wednesday to a three-year, $15.9 million contract, according to multiple reports.

Fairbairn’s four-year deal expired but the Texans moved to bring him back, one day after agreeing to a three-year deal to retain tight end Dalton Schultz.

Fairbairn missed only three total field goal tries the past two seasons and has one miss in 12 attempts from 50-plus yards during that span. Fairbairn, 30, booted a team record 61-yarder in 2021.

An undrafted free agent who signed with the Texans in 2017, Fairbairn made 27 of 28 field goals and 21 of 22 extra points during the 2023 regular season but a hamstring injury forced him to miss five regular-season games.

–Field Level Media