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Texans agree to contract with former Giants FS Demps

HOUSTON -- Free safety Will Demps signed a one-year contract with the Houston Texans on Tuesday.

The Texans needed another safety after losing starter Jason Simmons for the season with a torn patellar tendon Sunday. They were already without Glenn Earl, who fractured his foot in the exhibition opener.

Houston placed Simmons on the injured reserve Tuesday.

Demps, the former Giant, dislocated his elbow in a preseason game Aug. 19 and was placed on the injured reserve when New York reduced its roster to 53 players on Sept. 1. He received an injury settlement a few days later and became a free agent.

His agent, Tony Agnone, said Demps is already in Houston and has passed a physical.

The 27-year-old, who spent his first four seasons in Baltimore, signed a five-year, $12 million contract before last season. He started 17 games in 2006 and finished with 100 tackles and two interceptions, but lost his starting job to James Butler in the off-season.

Agnone said Demps was courted by several teams, but decided Houston would be the best fit for the 6-foot, 208-pound player.

"The Texans were pretty aggressive about it," Agnone said. "He had about four or five opportunities, but the Texans were very aggressive about getting him there."

Houston recently acquired Michael Boulware in a trade with Seattle, but coach Gary Kubiak said he isn't ready to contribute much on defense yet. Before the addition of Demps, Kubiak said he would go with converted cornerback Von Hutchins in place of Simmons at strong safety. Hutchins has appeared in just seven games the last three seasons.

Demps has 334 tackles and six interceptions in his five-year career.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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