Texans reach deal with Joe Mays

Updated: July 30, 2013, 4:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Linebacker Joe Mays hit Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub so hard in a game last season that Schaub lost a small chunk of his ear. Now the two players are teammates.

[+] EnlargeMatt Schaub
AP Photo/Jack DempseyThe Texans' Matt Schaub lost a bit of his left earlobe last season on the helmet-to-helmet hit he took from Joe Mays, then of the Broncos.

General manager Rick Smith confirmed Tuesday that Mays had agreed to a one-year deal with the Texans. Mays told KRIV-TV in Houston that he chose a deal with Houston over opportunities with the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

"He is a physical inside 'backer," Smith told Texans Radio. "If you look at this guy he's well-proportioned and well put together. He's compact. A physical presence at the point. He can run and has some ability in coverage as well."

The middle linebacker was suspended one game and fined $50,000 for the blindside helmet-to-helmet hit on Schaub in late September last season. He later apologized to the quarterback for his hit and said it wasn't intentional.

Schaub said Monday that he'd have no problems with the Texans adding Mays.

"We're way past that. That was gone as soon as we walked off the football field that day," Schaub said. "It's just a physical, hard-nosed game and he's a physical player and that's just part of football. I don't fault him for that ... He's a good player and a good guy so it's definitely water under the bridge."

Mays said he spoke with Schaub on Monday and was happy to hear of his comments.

"It means a lot," Mays told KRIV-TV on Tuesday. "You just never know what people think of you. I had a lot of bad publicity last year for the hit, being suspended and being fined. To actually have it come from the guy that I hit, it feels great."

Mays, 28, was limited to six games last season with the Broncos after breaking his left leg in late October.

"Everything that happened in Denver, it kind of left a sour taste in my mouth," Mays told KRIV-TV. "At the same time I was able to get out and get on a great team like Houston."

He is expected to practice with the Texans for the first time on Wednesday.

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