Hargreaves was released by the Texans on Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Hargreaves entered the NFL in 2016 as a No. 11 overall pick with Tampa Bay. He was never consistent in coverage and also struggled with injuries, eventually getting waived this past November. The Texans put in a waiver claim and then gave Hargreaves regular run in their injury-riddled secondary, but he didn't show nearly enough to justify the $9.9 million price tag on his fifth-year contract option for 2020. Given that he's a first-round pick and still only 24 years old, Hargreaves should draw some interest on the open market, even if it's for backup work rather than a starting role.
Hargreaves had a combined 61 tackles, six passes defensed, one interception, one touchdown and one fumble recovery in 15 games between Tampa Bay and Houston in 2019. The Texans signed Hargreaves midseason after he was released by the Buccaneers, and he finished out the year playing six games for Houston, which got an extended look at the 2016 first-round selection. It's not an easy thing to come in during a season and assimilate with a new team. Head coach Bill O'Brien lauded Hargreaves in comments to Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com but acknowledged the cornerback has areas to improve upon. To bring him back for 2020, the Texans will have to shell out the $9.9 million Hargreaves is scheduled to make on his fifth-year option. Houston is expected to overhaul its secondary, so there will be a need, but it may want to get Hargreaves on a multi-year deal at a lower cap hit.
Hargreaves generated five tackles (three solo) and a pass breakup in Thursday's 20-17 win over the Colts. Hargreaves was waived by the Buccaneers on Nov. 12 and he's fitting in well with his new squad. Lonnie Johnson (ankle) and Bradley Roby (hamstring) were inactive, allowing Hargreaves to start at nickel corner and make an immediate impact in his Texans debut. Roby and Johnson were both game-time decisions, so they'll likely be back for Week 13's matchup against the Patriots. It's unsettled where Hargreaves will fit in if that indeed happens.
Hargreaves is expected to make his debut for Houston in Thursday's game against the Colts, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Hargreaves was claimed off waivers last week and did not play in a Week 11 loss to the Ravens. With Lonnie Johnson (ankle) having left last week's game and questionable for the Colts, Hargreaves could see significant playing time. "The big thing is he's been with us here about a week now, and he seems to be picking up on the system pretty well. He's communicating within the system, he's got a good attitude. So, we'll line him up and see what he can do," said defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
Hargreaves (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Ravens. Hargreaves was claimed off of waivers by the Texans on Wednesday, so it makes sense that he would sit out his first game with the team as he likely is still unfamiliar with Houston's defensive scheme. Johnathan Joseph and Bradley Roby remain the starters at cornerback, with Hargreaves likely to fill a situational role once he is able to learn more of the defensive playbook.