HOUSTON -- In search of some help at safety, the Houston Texans have added Antonio Allen, a source confirmed to NFL Nation Jets reporter Rich Cimini. Allen, 27, spent the past four seasons with the New York Jets, but tore his Achilles tendon during a non-contact training camp practice last season and spent all year on injured reserve.
The Texans started Andre Hal and Quintin Demps for most of the season at safety, after benching Rahim Moore. Hal solidified his role, having been switched over from corner, but Demps is still on the market. It's possible the Texans bring him back, but there would still likely be a competition at the position when training camp opens next season.
I checked in with Cimini for a little more insight about what kind of player the Texans are getting in Allen. He adds some versatility, having played corner when the Jets were desperate at the position in 2014 under former coach Rex Ryan. Cimini said Allen can cover tight ends man-to-man and some slower receivers but isn't good in zone coverage as he doesn't process quickly enough.
In college at South Carolina, Allen virtually always played in the box acting essentially as a linebacker.
This position has been a riddle for the Texans over the past several years. They signed Ed Reed in 2013, but the future Hall of Fame safety didn't have any juice left. They drafted D.J. Swearinger that same year but cut him in the 2015 offseaon. They signed Chris Clemons in 2014's offseason and Stevie Brown in 2015, but neither player made it to the regular season. Last year the Texans tried again with Moore, giving him a three-year deal in free agency. After Week 7, Moore was benched and left inactive.