The "Honey Badger" is headed to Houston.
The Houston Texans said Monday they had signed unrestricted free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu and claimed wide receiver Sammie Coates off waivers from Cleveland.
Mathieu was released last week by Arizona after five seasons when the two sides couldn't rework his contract. The 25-year-old safety was due for $18.75 million of his contract to be guaranteed when the league year officially began and Arizona saved nearly $5 million in cap space by cutting him.
He has 11 career interceptions Emmitt Smith Jersey , four sacks, 41 passes defensed and 303 total tackles in 66 NFL games during a career plagued by injuries. Only last season did Mathieu appear in all 16 games and he finished with two interceptions along with 74 tackles. He was an All-Pro in 2015, when he had five interceptions and 17 passes defensed.
Mathieu became a star in the Arizona secondary after being selected in the third round of the 2013 draft following a troubled college career at LSU. A finalist for the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, he got into trouble with marijuana and eventually was kicked out of school. Mathieu spent an entire season out of football and slid to the third round before the Cardinals took a chance on him.
His rookie season ended prematurely when he tore the LCL and ACL in his left knee.
His big 2015 season was cut short when he tore the ACL in the other knee. His absence was sorely felt as the team that went 13-3 before being routed by Carolina in the NFC championship game.
Despite the injury, the Cardinals rewarded him with a five-year, $62.5 million contract, with $15.5 million guaranteed. Off the field, he was a model citizen and with his fierce style and natural charisma, was among the most popular players on the squad.
The 24-year-old Coates was a third-round pick by Pittsburgh out of Auburn in 2015.. He spent two seasons with the Steelers before joining the Browns last year. He has 28 career receptions for 516 yards and two touchdowns in 32 regular-season games played, including six starts.
Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle was going through his usual routine Monday Eddie Yarbrough Jersey , preparing if needed for a save, when general manager Mike Rizzo sought him out.
Rizzo wanted to discuss two things: The Nationals were trading for two-time All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera, and Doolittle was going to keep his ninth-inning job.
Getting a jump on the trade deadline, the Nationals picked up right-hander Herrera from the Kansas City Royals for three minor leaguers, adding him to a back end of the bullpen that already includes the lefty Doolittle and righties Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler.
”It’s almost their way of saying, `Here’s some help. Here’s some reinforcements.’ I think it’s one of those situations where you can’t have too many options down there,” Doolittle said. ”You get a guy who’s pitched in every high-leverage role from the seventh inning on. He’s won a World Series. … We’re planning on playing some really meaningful games down the stretch and making a run into the playoffs. We’re gonna need some help. I think it’s awesome.”
As for the effect on his role, which the Nationals say won’t change, Doolittle called it ”definitely a confidence boost” to hear that it’s ”still my job.”
”You want to add some stuff, but you don’t want to have too many cooks in the kitchen Trai Turner Jersey ,” Doolittle said. ”It’s not necessarily that guys are super-attached to their roles, but they like to know what to expect – when they’re going to pitch in a game, when to get ready, that sort of stuff.”
The Nationals sent infielder Kelvin Gutierrez, outfielder Blake Perkins and 17-year-old pitcher Yohanse Morel to Kansas City in the deal announced during Washington’s doubleheader against the New York Yankees. Gutierrez heads to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, Perkins will be assigned to Class A Wilmington, and Morel goes to rookie ball.
Herrera has 14 saves and a 1.05 ERA this season. He’s allowed three earned runs in 25 2/3 innings while striking out 22 batters and walking two.
”It’s just a moment you don’t want to see,” Herrera said about leaving his only major league home. ”It’s always hard. I was born and raised (as) a player here.”
The 28-year-old helped Kansas City win the 2015 World Series – and is among the last players left from that title team. He is 23-27 with 57 saves and a 2.75 ERA across 442 games in relief over eight seasons in the majors.
”We’ve known Kelvin since he signed with us when he was 16 years old. He’s one of the very best competitors that I’ve ever been around, probably that this organization has seen,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. ”Without him Dion Dawkins Jersey , there is no way we can ever make it to the World Series, win a World Series.”
Kintzler, the usual seventh-inning man for Washington, went on the disabled list June 10 with a right forearm flexor strain, and Madson spent time on the DL earlier this season.
Madson was a teammate of Herrera’s on the 2015 champions.
”He’s a bulldog,” Madson said. ”I take it with welcoming arms. Let the old horse rest a little bit.”
Instead of waiting to make moves at the July 31 non-waiver deadline, the Nationals opted to strike now. They are the two-time reigning NL East champions but have never won a postseason series. Washington also currently stands in second place in the division, entering Monday 3 games behind the Atlanta Braves.
The Royals, meanwhile, are way out of contention in the AL Central in last place and 22-49 going into the day. They already shipped Jon Jay to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a pair of minor leaguers earlier in June.
”We’d like to be holding onto our players longer Akiem Hicks Jersey ,” Moore said, ”but where we are in the standings and what we’re faced with and how we’re playing, if we can get the right move, it’s important to move.”
AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta and freelancer Alan Eskew in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.
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