After nine years with the Bills, Jerry Hughes is heading back home. The 33-year-old Texas native, drafted out of TCU in 2010, is signing with the Texans, per ESPN, giving Houston veteran pass-rushing help for the 2022 campaign.
The longest-tenured member of the Bills when he hit free agency this offseason, Hughes served as one of Buffalo’s steadiest defenders for the better part of a decade. Acquired via trade from the Colts in 2013, he missed just two games in nine seasons, appearing as one of the Bills’ starting defensive ends for eight of those seasons. While he rarely posted gaudy sack totals, logging double-digit sacks just twice, he consistently graded out as a top-level edge presence against both the run and pass.
In 2021, for example, Hughes had just two sacks but added 10 quarterback hits — playoffs included — as a key piece of the Bills’ pass-rushing rotation. Prior to his nine-year run in Buffalo, he spent three seasons with the Colts, also appearing at outside linebacker.
Hughes could end up starting for the Texans in 2022 under new coach Lovie Smith, as Houston currently has Jonathan Greenard and Rasheem Green projected as Week 1 starters off the edge. Hughes was born in Sugar Land, part of the Houston metro area, and went to Stephen F. Austin High School before attending TCU.