Reports of T.J. Yates‘ release by the Texans were exaggerated. Or maybe just erroneous.
On Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that Yates had been cut, on the same day coach Bill O’Brien named Ryan Fitzpatrick the starter. Now, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the Texans have actually traded Yates to the Falcons.
In return, Houston gets linebacker Akeem Dent. A third-round pick in 2011, Dent appeared in 15 games with seven starts last season. In 2012, he appeared in 16 regular-season games, with 13 starts.
Both are entering the final season of their rookie deals. In 2011, Yates started and won the first playoff game in Texans franchise history; starter Matt Schaub was gone for the season with a foot injury.
In 2013, Yates fell behind undrafted rookie Case Keenum. Yates now has fallen off the roster.
So what happened Tuesday? Per the source, once word got out that the Texans would be releasing Yates, teams started calling to inquire about a trade. The Falcons, who would have been fairly close to the top of the waiver priority list, opted to make the swap in order to ensure they got Yates, especially since he could have been traded to a team lower on the pecking order.
Yates joins Dominique Davis, Jeff Mathews, and Sean Renfree on the depth chart behind starter Matt Ryan. Yates is the only one with more than one year of experience. And he has as many postseason victories as Ryan.