HOUSTON– Houston Texans cornerback Desmond King has expressed interest in returning for the 2022 season. He could now be seen as a centerpiece of the rebuild.
The Texans and King have agreed terms to a two-year deal worth $7 million, $3.5 million guaranteed. A source told TexansDaily.com that King and Texans general manager Nick Caserio began talks on Saturday with the intention of finalizing a deal by Wednesday.
The Texans needed cornerback help after Terrance Mitchell was released. Houston also met with former Pro Bowl cornerback Malcolm Butler, who is best known for his time with the New England Patriots.
King, who signed a one-year contract worth $5 million in 2021, has shown growth both inside and outside the nickel. With the success of Tavierre Thomas on the inside, King was invited to play outside.
Last season, King was Houston’s most productive corner. He recorded 93 tackles, six pass deflections and three interceptions.
“He made the decision pretty well,” Texans cornerbacks coach Dino Vasso said of King last month. will say nickel.
“(But) he embraced it, and he did what was best for the team, and not necessarily what was best for Desmond King, and you win with football players like that.”
King also offers value in the back game. A former second-team All-Pro returning Los Angeles Chargers player, King averaged 9.1 yards on 17 returns.
The Texans could still approach the cornerback in free agency and the draft. New Texans coach Lovie Smith said his “ideal cornerback” was at least 6 feet tall, with frame and speed to match receivers who were “getting bigger and bigger.”
“They have ball skills of course, but it’s always about whether you can play a lot with men’s coverage,” Smith said. “He’s a hard-to-find guy I’m talking about.”
Houston, who currently holds the No. 3 pick in the April draft, could target Cincinnati’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner with the selection. If you wait until Day 2, players like Auburn’s Roger McCreary, Washington’s Kyler Gordon and UTSA’s Tariq Woolen could be in the game.
King marks the fourth major defensive signing for Houston. The Texans reached a deal with safety Terrence Brooks on Monday, and defensive tackle Maliek Collins and linebacker Ogbo Okoronkwo on Tuesday.