Texans reach deals with Vince Wilfork, Cecil Shorts

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Houston Texans made two big free agency moves today, one on each side of the ball.

First on defense, former Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork signed a deal with Houston, he announced on Facebook. Wilfork, who has been with New England for the past 11 seasons, said on Twitter that he's starting a new chapter in his life as a member of the Texans.

The 33-year-old Wilfork became a free agent when the Patriots decided not to exercise his option for the 2015 season. The Patriots created $8.06 million in salary-cap space with the move.

Wilfork likely will compete for a starting job with the Texans, who have a shortage on the interior of their defensive line.

Ryan Pickett started 13 games at nose tackle -- Wilfork's customary position -- in Houston's 3-4 defensive scheme this past season. But the 35-year-old Pickett was not re-signed this offseason and may consider retirement.

Just before that, we learned of the signing of former Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts III.

Shorts, who visited with the Texans on Monday, will have a chance to start in Houston, who released longtime star receiver Andre Johnson last week.

Shorts, 27, caught 176 passes for 2,343 yards and 12 touchdowns in four seasons with the Jaguars after the team selected him in the fourth round in 2011. His best season came in 2012, when he caught 55 passes for 979 yards and seven touchdowns.

The 2014 season was supposed to be Shorts' big year since he was in the final year of his rookie contract, but it instead was a disappointment. He did end up leading the Jaguars in receptions but he had a critical fumble in the Jaguars' first game against Tennessee and two bad drops in the first game against Houston.

More details coming...