Can Chester Rogers be a successful under-the-radar signing?

Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Houston Texans signing Chester Rogers this past week, have they found their slot receiver for 2022?

One player who was an under-the-radar signing in free agency this past week (Aug. 3) was the Houston Texans signing Chester Rogers to a one-year, $1.035 million contract to be a slot receiver for the franchise.

Earlier this offseason, there was the sad news that rookie slot receiver John Metchie III — a second-round pick in 2022 — had been diagnosed with leukemia and most likely will miss the entire ’22 season as he battles his cancer diagnosis.

Until the day Metchie is fully recovered, the Texans for the ’22 season will be filling the slot receiver role with the newly signed veteran Rogers, who last season played for the Tennessee Titans, and in four previous seasons (2016-19) played for the Indianapolis Colts. Rodgers didn’t play in ’20.

While with the Titans last season, Rogers played in 16 games, totaling 30 receptions for 301 yards and one touchdown, averaging 10 yards per reception. Twelve of Rogers’ receptions went for a first down.

Rogers’ most productive season was 2018 when as a member of the Colts, the slot receiver had 53 receptions for 485 yards and two touchdowns. That season, 28 of his receptions were for a first down, and he averaged 9.2 yards per reception.

Texans: How can Rogers be used in 2022 with Houston’s offense?

Let’s face it, Rogers doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as Metchie would have had this season, but he’s a solid veteran to have on the roster and will be an option for Davis Mills to pass to in his second season as the starting quarterback of the Texans.

What there is to like about Rogers is he’s credited for 16 or more receptions in each of his first five seasons in the NFL, and this past season was the second time he’s caught at least 30 passes in a season.

Rogers had a decent season with the Titans in ’21, and if he can even get close to the production he had last season, or even better, the production of the ’18 season, this signing will be well worth what Houston is paying him.

The best thing is Rogers isn’t the lone option for slot receiver of the Texans this season, as the depth chart also has Chris Moore and Chad Beebe in the battle for the receiver position too.

Moore is entering his seventh season, with this being season two with Houston. Last year, Moore had 21 receptions on 22 targets for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Beebe didn’t play in ’21, but in ’20 with the Minnesota Vikings he caught 20 passes on 30 targets for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

As training camp continues and teams begin to play in games this upcoming week, this battle for the starting role for slot receiver will be possibly the best battle on the offense now, and that makes the three preseason games very important for Rogers, Moore and Beebe in the upcoming weeks.

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