The latest addition to the roster of the Houston Texans is veteran linebacker Neville Hewitt, whom the Texans signed on Friday as general manager Nick Caserio continues to rework the roster of a team that had just four wins a season ago.
The positives about the free agent signing of Hewitt by the Houston Texans is the fact that the 6’2, 220-pound linebacker has played a lot of quality minutes in the NFL, and for at least this season, the Texans are going to need veterans who can help rebuild the foundation of the franchise for future seasons.
Adding Hewitt isn’t a move that will change the Texans franchise from the moment the ink dries on the contract, but it does give this team some more options at linebacker, and if he stays on the roster through training camp and Week 1, then his experience in the NFL will be huge for this team in ’21, which is most important for the time being.
Hewitt joined the NFL after a collegiate career at Marshall University, and from there he played his first three seasons with the Miami Dolphins in limited time on the field, as he made seven starts but was active for 38 games in that span from 2015-17. In that time frame, Hewitt had an interception, four passes defensed and two fumble recoveries. He also totaled 68 solo sacks while a member of the Dolphins, with seven tackles for loss, one sack and two QB hits.
After those three seasons, Hewitt played the past three years with the Jets, a team where he made 32 starts and was active for 44 games. In ’18, Hewitt started four games for the Jets, then in a turnaround of events the linebacker started 12 games in ’19, and this past season as a RILB made 16 starts.
In ’20, Hewitt had four passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, two sacks, 91 solo tackles, six tackles for loss and four QB hits.
Houston Texans: Hewitt continuing career with rebuilding squad
It is no secret that the Houston Texans are making mass changes to their roster this offseason ever since Nick Caserio took over the 4-12 franchise. Adding Hewitt to the roster allows the linebacker to continue his career, and unfortunately for him, he’s no stranger to teams with losing records and rebuilding rosters, as he’s played for the Dolphins and Jets his entire career.
Hewitt played in the playoffs in 2016 with Miami, and he’s shown this past season he’s still a durable player, playing in 99 percent of the defensive snaps for the Jets, equaling 1,130 plays in the ’20 season. He also took part in 191 special teams snaps as well.
There will be some competition at linebacker as ESPN.com has Hewitt listed as a LILB as the second option behind Christian Kirksey, which seems more like where he’d fit with the current Texans roster.
This isn’t a bad signing at all, and the depth Hewitt brings helps shore up the linebacker depth chart to a certain degree. Hewitt is a good professional linebacker, coming off his best season yet, so it will be interesting to watch to see how he performs in his first season with the Texans.