(UHND.com) — Former Notre Dame star defensive end Anthony Weaver signed a free agent contract with the Houston Texans Saturday on the first day of free agency after a week of labor talks in the NFL.
Weaver, who is now 25, is a four year veteran who spent his first four seasons with Ravens. His contract is rumored to be in the $5 million a year range with a signing bonus believed to be in excess of $10 million.
The Texans will be converting from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense this off-season and the signing of Weaver is the beginning of the transformation under first year head coach Gary Kubiak. Weaver will be the starting left defensive end for the Texans this season with the Texans basically building their defensive line around him.
Weaver played at both defensive end and tackle while with the Irish under then head coach Bob Davie, but spent his four years in Baltimore as a defensive end in their 3-4 defense. Because of this, Weaver’s sack totals were modest with 14.5 in 57 career games, but he built a reputation of being a solid run stopper.
The move to the Texans should improve Weaver’s statistical output while being in a more traditional 4-3 alignment. ESPN.com had Weaver rated as the 15th best free agent this off-season stating that he would benefit from moving to a 4-3 defense.
Weaver suffered some health set backs last year with toe and back injuries, but has not had injury problems any other time in his collegiate or professional career. Playing under Kubiak, the former defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos should help raise his game to another level and move into the upper echelon of defensive ends in the league.
While at Notre Dame, Weaver was pressed into starting duty as a freshman because of injuries and blossomed into a 2nd round pick by the Ravens in the 2002 draft. He started 41 of 44 career games for the Irish and finished his career with 17 sacks and 42 tackles for loss, 21 of which came in his senior year.
Weaver was a bright spot on some underachieving Notre Dame teams under Bob Davie and ended his career in 2001 as one of the four captains for the 2001 Irish. Weaver was also named the Notre Dame lineman of the year as senior and was the lone first day Draft pick for the Irish in 2002 Draft.