ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported early Thursday evening that the Texans reached a contract agreement with free agent cornerback Johnathan Joseph, formerly of the Bengals.
Mark Berman of Fox 26 Sports in Houston followed up with a report that Joseph received a five year deal worth $48.75 million, including $23.5 guaranteed and a $12.5 million signing bonus.
Joseph was considered by many to be next in line after Nnamdi Asomugha on the most desired free agent corner list.
The signing of Joseph (age 27), presumably at a lower price than what the 30 year old Asomugha would have cost the Texans, should free up space for the team to sign a free agent safety which remains a need in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense revitalization project in Houston.
Before everyone freaks out because the Texans didn’t break the bank on ‘the’ name guy, consider this:
Joseph has a better yards per pass attempt defended average than Asomugha over the past two years on nearly 3 times as many targets. (KC Joyner – TheFootballScientist.com)
Also, check out this reaction to the Texans signing of Joseph:
The Texans doggedly pursued both of the market’s top cornerbacks, and did well to win one of the sweepstakes to shore up what was arguably the league’s worst secondary in 2010. Joseph is still in his prime at age 27, has flashed shut-down potential in Cincinnati and has ball skills at least on par with Asomugha’s. Coordinator Wade Phillips has turned defenses around quickly in the past, and he just landed a key piece to make it happen in Houston – rotoworld.com
NFL writer Adam Caplan said this: “Texans stepping up finally and getting serious on D.”
And just two short years ago, James Walker writing for ESPN, said that Joseph and Leon Hall were among the best cornerback duos in the league.
Joseph doesn’t come without risk. He’s been bothered by foot and ankle injuries during two of the past three seasons missing eight games in 2008 and four games in 2010.
An interesting coincidence is that Joseph attended college at South Carolina, as did Dunta Robinson. Joseph’s agent is Jason Chayut, who also happens to represent Robinson.
One big difference between Joseph and Robinson, however, is that Joseph won’t have to write ‘Pay me Rick’ on his shoes as Joseph got the guaranteed money that Robinson reportedly turned down.
Also worth a read >>>: “It’s time for the Texans and Robinson to kiss and make up,” This is that article that, much to my surprise, prompted Joseph and Robinson’s agent to contact me. It was all good though. He told me that he normally didn’t talk to ‘media’ but since I obviously ‘got it’ he wanted to share some thoughts on Robinson’s contract issue. I have to say that was one of the highlights of my Texans fan blog career.