The Houston Texans agreed to terms Monday on a three-year deal with Romeo Crennel to take over as defensive coordinator.
Crennel was widely believed to be the favorite to become Bill O'Brien's defensive coordinator because of their ties as former New England Patriots assistants, even though the two men had never worked together.
With his $3.5 million salary this season from the final year of his contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, Crennel will earn more than $7 million over the three seasons, according to a league source, including $1.8 million from the Texans in both 2015 and 2016.
Last week, the Texans hired former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel to be their linebackers coach.
Vrabel played under Crennel but also was Ohio State's defensive line coach. O'Brien was impressed with what he saw from the Buckeyes' linebackers when he served as the Penn State coach for two seasons in the Big Ten, sources said.
Information from ESPN's Adam Caplan was used in this report.