The Texans have released right tackle Derek Newton. Newton, who has not played since Week 7 of the 2016 season, failed a physical on March 23.
On Oct. 24, 2016, Newton tore the patella tendons in both legs and spent all of last season on injured reserve. Newton was owed a roster bonus of $500,000 for being on the roster on April 1, but was told Houston will not be paying that, so he reportedly plans to file a grievance against the team.
Before his injury, Newton was the Texans’ starting right tackle. He started six games in 2016 and all 16 games in each of the previous three seasons.
On March 27, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was asked about Newton’s progress and said “he’s on schedule” but probably wouldn’t “be able to do a ton of things this spring.”
“Nobody’s worked harder than Derek Newton to try to get back to where he’s at,” O’Brien said. “He’s a hardworking guy. … That guy’s been in there every single day at 6 a.m., five days a week. He probably comes in on the weekends on his own. I would say he’s probably not able to do a bunch of field work — he can rehab-wise, but not in team periods and things like that.”
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Texans drafted Newton in the seventh round in 2011 and signed him to a five-year, $26.5 million contract in 2015.
The Texans signed tackle Seantrel Henderson in free agency and he is expected to get the chance to start at right tackle. Houston did not add a left tackle after starting five different players at the position in 2017, but O’Brien said at the NFL owners meetings that second-year linemen Julien Davenport will be given the chance to win that job.
Newton was due a bonus of $500,000 if he was on the roster and able to pass a team physical April 1. The Texans gave him a physical March 23, but Newton failed it. Despite recording showing extensive progress and even performing one-legged squats, he was unable to perform a straight-leg raise, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Newton went to James Andrews for a second opinion, and the surgeon deemed him healthy enough for team workouts next week.
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