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Texans sign LB Cato June


Linebacker Cato June started 28 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007 and 2008.

The Texans announced the signing of free agent linebacker Cato June on Monday, making official a deal that was reported over the weekend.

June (6-0, 227) started 28 games over the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent the first four years of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2005 after recording 102 tackles, five interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.

The 29-year-old June was the Colts' leading tackler in 2006, when they won Super Bowl XLI, and in 2004. He has 12 career interceptions, which trails only cornerback Dunta Robinson (13) among Texans players.

"Cato brings some athleticism and veteran leadership also to our group," linebackers coach Johnny Holland said. "He's played on a Super Bowl championship team; he's been to the big dance before. And I see him as a big-play linebacker. We expect him to come in and compete. Hopefully, he can come in and help our team immediately."

{QUOTE}June joins Xavier Adibi, Zac Diles, Kevin Bentley and Chaun Thompson as outside linebackers on the Texans' roster. Diles and Bentley started at strongside linebacker for the Texans last season. Adibi emerged late in the year on the weakside. June can play both - he was a weakside linebacker in Indy and a strongside linebacker in Tampa Bay.

"He played SAM (strongside) last year, so we'll probably start him out at SAM linebacker," Holland said. "We feel confident that he's played WILL (weakside) linebacker as well. He has the quickness and the ability to play both of the outside spots. I see him playing out in space and I see him being a valuable nickel player, also."

In two seasons with the Bucs, June registered 141 tackles. He also picked off two passes, forced a fumble and had six passes defensed. He was a sixth-round draft pick by the Colts in 2003 out of Michigan.

June was one of three former Colt linebackers to visit with the Texans last week along with Buster Davis and Tyjaun Hagler.

"When I watch the Colts play on defense, they're very disciplined," Holland said. "They're not very complicated, but guys play fast. We want our defense built with guys that can play fast and make plays, and that's what we saw in Cato June: He plays fast and he's a big-play linebacker."

Following are the free agents the Texans have signed:
DT Shaun Cody 6-4, 310
LB Cato June 6-0, 227
QB Dan Orlovsky 6-5, 230
DE Antonio Smith 6-4, 285

Following are the free agents the Texans have re-signed:
WR David Anderson 5-10, 194
TE Joel Dreessen 6-4, 260
S Nick Ferguson 5-10, 201
DE Stanley McClover 6-2, 263
C Chris White 6-2, 292
FS Eugene Wilson 5-10, 195

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