After a few days of courting each other, Houston Chronicle writer John McClain is reporting that the Houston Texans have officially signed ex-Cleveland Browns fullback Lawrence Vickers. Per The General, the deal with Vickers is two-years and worth $3 million with a $500,000 signing bonus, modest compared to Vonta Leach's $11 million deal over three years with the Baltimore Ravens.
Vickers was made expendable in Cleveland after the Browns drafted Stanford two-way star Owen Marecic in April's NFL Draft. This came after Vickers started all 16 games last season and cleared the way for Peyton Hillis to run for 1,177 yards and the Madden NFL 12 cover. Vickers helped three running backs rush for over 1,000 yards over the last four seasons as a starting fullback for the Browns.
Per an article with Cleveland.com from June, the fit with Houston seems like a great one. While at the University of Colorado, Vickers was in an offense that ran a scheme close to Mike Shanahan's. Shanahan, as we know, is the mentor of Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. The versatile Vickers, as he'd like people to remember, had more than 500 yards rushing and receiving in his Buffalo career. In his NFL career, he's shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, something the Texans like out of both fullbacks and running backs.
Vickers will battle James Casey for a starting fullback spot in the Houston offense. Personally, I think there's a way to utilize both men in this offense and possibly on the field at the same time. Casey's more athletic and could be line up as a fullback, H-back, and tight end while Vickers is a fullback who can block and catch. Of course, it will all be decided over the course of training camp and the preseason.
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