The Houston Texans released projected starting free safety Chris Clemons during 53-man roster cuts yesterday, but they have brought back another FS into the fold in Danieal Manning. Per a source close to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Texans have officially signed Danieal Manning today after performing a physical on the former Chicago Bears former standout cover man.
Manning is assured in coverage and fit Lovie Smith’s Cover 2 scheme perfectly, so we’ll see if he can do better in his second stint with the Texans after spending three seasons with the team. He made some plays on the ball and had decent numbers, but we’ll see if he can work himself into a starting job next to imposing strong safety D.J. Swearinger, who made headlines with his brutal hit on Wes Welker and subsequent lashing from the mild-mannered Peyton Manning following a passing TD.
The current starter at free safety is Kendrick Lewis, who was repeatedly burned during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs last season. At 32, Manning isn’t close to the player he was during his prime, but he has a real shot of unseating Lewis at FS. This is a battle worth watching as we head into the season, because the Texans should have clearly defined FS and SS roles given Swearinger’s unique skill-set. Manning was expected to sign with the Texans today, so they must have a concrete plan for him, even if he just ends up being a third safety.