Texans sign nine free agents on eve of training camp



HOUSTON – The Houston Texans re-signed six free agents, the team announced today. Houston re-signed exclusive rights free agent RB Arian Foster; restricted free agent G Mike Brisiel; unrestricted free agents T Rashad Butler, QB Matt Leinart, DT Damione Lewis and G Kasey Studdard. In addition, the Texans signed undrafted free agents DT Guy Miller, DE Scooter Berry and LB Matt Marcorelle.

Foster (6-1, 227) originally joined the Texans in 2009 after going undrafted out of Tennessee.  Since then, Foster has appeared in 22 games with 14 starts, totaling 1,873 rushing yards (4.9 avg.) for 19 touchdowns and 697 receiving yards (9.4 avg.) for two touchdowns.

Last season, Foster led the NFL in rushing and recorded the most rushing yards ever by
an undrafted player with 1,616 yards.  He also led the NFL in scrimmage yards (2,220), scoring by a non-kicker (108 points), total touchdowns (18) and first downs (123), all of which were franchise records.  In addition, Foster became only the third player in NFL history to amass 1,600 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards in a season.

Brisiel (6-5, 300) has appeared in 37 games with 34 starts as he enters his fifth season in the NFL after originally signing with the Texans in 2006.  Brisiel has blocked for two 1,000-yard rushers in his career (Foster in 2010 and Steve Slaton in 2008) and has been part of a top-four NFL offense each of the last three seasons. Last year, he helped pave the way for Foster's league-leading 1,616 rushing yards. 

Butler (6-4, 308) originally joined the Texans after being claimed off waivers from the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 3, 2007 and was re-signed by the Texans on April 7, 2009.  For his career, Butler has played in 40 games, including four starts. Butler played in all 16 games in 2010 and made the first of his four career starts in Week 3 against Dallas. 

Leinart (6-5, 234) originally signed with the Texans on Sept. 6, 2010 and served as the team's third quarterback all 16 games.  Prior to joining the Texans, Leinart spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals where he made 29 appearances, including 17 starts.  For his career, he has thrown for 3,893 yards with 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, completing 340-of-595 passes (57.1 percent).

Lewis (6-2, 301) originally signed with the Texans midway through last season after  spending the last four years with the Carolina Panthers.  He has played in 141 games with 65 starts during his 10-year career and has totaled 401 tackles (206 solo), 23.5 sacks for a loss of 139 yards, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

Lewis appeared in the final 10 games of the season for the Texans in 2010 and totaled 17 tackles (13 solo) and one sack for a loss of six yards.  In 2009, he registered a career-high 65 tackles (35 solo) for Carolina. Lewis notched a career-high five sacks for a loss of 37 yards with the St. Louis Rams in 2004.

Studdard (6-3, 302) was drafted by the Texans in the sixth round (183rd overall pick) of the 2007 NFL Draft.  For his career, Studdard has appeared in 21 games, making 14 starts.  Last season, he saw action in four games on special teams. In 2009, Studdard started 14-of-16 games and played and helped the Texans offense gain more than 300 yards in 15 consecutive games.

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