Texans sign Browns LB Jacob Phillips to one-year deal

Linebacker depth was a concern for the Houston Texans entering the 2024 NFL draft. Now, it’s moved down the pecking order. 

The Texans agreed to terms with former Cleveland Browns linebacker Jacob Phillips on a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Phillips should fill a similar role to that of rotational linebacker Denzel Perryman, who signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Phillips, 25, spent four seasons in Cleveland after being drafted out of LSU in 2020. Surprisingly, the pick belonged to the Texans, who traded it to the Browns in exchange for running back Duke Johnson. 

During his time with the AFC North franchise, Phillips recorded 88 tackles, three sacks and five pass deflections. His best season came in 2022 when he notched 46 tackles and two sacks. 

Phillips missed the entirety of the 2023 season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle during a preseason game against Washington. The year prior, he missed the final two months of the regular season after suffering a similar injury during a regular season game against Baltimore in October. 

A native of Nashville, Phillips should fill in as a multi-purpose replacement for both Christian Harris and Azeez Al-Shaair. After a breakout season with the Titans in 2023, Houston elected to reunite Al-Shaair with DeMeco Ryans, signing him to a three-year deal worth $34 million. 

Just because the Texans added Phillips doesn’t mean they won’t target a linebacker. In four years, the former third-round pick has been limited to 20 games due to injury. Currently, Houston only has Henry To’oTo’o as an option with extensive reps under his belt. 

The Texans own nine picks in the draft, though general manager Nick Caserio has been known for working the phone lines in trades. Last season, Houston made a franchise record eight trades, including moving up to No. 3 with the Arizona Cardinals to acquire eventual Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr

“We’ll see if that changes or stays static,” Caserio said Thursday when asked about the draft strategy. “Given our history, it will probably change at some point.”

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire