Ferguson brings a hard-hitting mentality and a familiarity with several Texans players and members of the front office from Denver.
The Texans signed unrestricted free agent safety Nick Ferguson, the team announced Thursday.
Ferguson (5-11, 201) will enter his ninth year in the NFL. He spent the last five seasons with the Denver Broncos. He began his playing career in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders (1997) and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1998-99). After finishing at Georgia Tech, Ferguson signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1996.
"My role will be to push for a starting job here on this team, and the leadership I may bring in the locker room – just try to pass along some of my experiences in my nine years to some of the younger guys," he said in an interview with HoustonTexans.com. "Hopefully, that can rub off and make this a more polished team."
Ferguson began his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills, where he was signed to their practice squad in 2000. He was later signed by the New York Jets that season where he appeared in seven games as a rookie, recording nine tackles and his first NFL interception. He played with the Jets until the 2002 season, before being signed by the Denver Broncos in 2003.
While in Denver, the Miami native appeared in 69 games with 44 starts. He garnered a total of 258 tackles, six interceptions and six forced fumbles and one sack. He started all 16 games during the Broncos' 2005 season that saw them finish with a 13-3 record and advance to the AFC Championship Game. He led all defensive backs in tackles that season with 81 and finished with a career high in interceptions with five and passes defensed with 12.
Ferguson finished last season appearing in 12 games, starting seven. He made 57 tackles with one pass defensed and one forced fumble. He had a season high in tackles with 11 in back-to-back weeks against Jacksonville (9/23) and at Indianapolis (10/7).
The veteran safety noted that his relationship with general manager Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak from Denver was a determining factor in his decision to sign with the Texans.
"Knowing those guys and what they bring to any organization, it's something that – I mean, how could you not want to be a part of it?" Ferguson said. "I'm grateful to be a part of this team and I don't see why we can't compete for that Lombardi Trophy, and if not, it will be great to be a base in the building blocks for the guys who are able to attain that goal."
Following are the free agents the Texans have re-signed (6):