Tex­ans, Gray close to deal

QB op­ti­mistic about join­ing club as soon as to­day

Houston Chronicle - - Pro Football Etc. - By JOHN McCLAIN

Bar­ring un­fore­seen com­pli­ca­tions, for­mer Jack­sonville Jaguars quar­ter­back Quinn Gray will sign a one-year deal for $645,000 with the Tex­ans to­day, giv­ing them three vet­er­ans at the most im­por­tant po­si­tion on the team.

Coach Rick Smith said last week the Tex­ans pre­fer to have three vet­eran quar­ter­backs on the ros­ter when the reg­u­lar sea­son be­gins.

Gray helps the Tex­ans in two ways. First, if starter Matt Schaub is in­jured again and Sage Rosen­fels is el­e­vated, Gray be­comes the ex­pe­ri­enced backup. Sec­ond, if they’re of­fered a sec­ond-round pick for Rosen­fels, hav­ing Gray be­hind Schaub would make it eas­ier to make the trade.

“The Tex­ans have two good quar­ter­backs, and if ev­ery­thing goes like I hope it does, I’ll be added to the mix,” Gray said Sun­day af­ter ar­riv­ing in Hous­ton. “Hope­fully, ev­ery­thing will go well when we meet (to­day at Re­liant Sta­dium). I hope to be able to sign.”

Gray vis­ited Green Bay and Oak­land. He has a trip to Buf­falo sched­uled.

“I don’t plan on leav­ing here,” he said. “I’m ready to sign.

“My agent (Drew Rosen­haus) has a one-year deal in place. We’ve been talk­ing on the phone, and now I’m go­ing to meet face-to-face with coach (Gary) Ku­biak and coach (of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Kyle) Shana­han. I’m ex­cited about it.”

Gray, who turns 29 next month, spent five years with the Jaguars and was 2-2 as a starter last sea­son. He helped the Jaguars de­feat Tampa Bay and Ten­nessee. They lost to New Or­leans and the Tex­ans.

“Things didn’t work out in Jack­sonville, (but) I think I can fit in here,” Gray said. “I love Hous­ton. I like the or­ga­ni­za­tion and where the Tex­ans are headed.”

In the Jaguars’ 42-28 loss at Re­liant Sta­dium, coach Jack Del Rio rested many of his starters be­fore the play­offs.

Gray fin­ished 25-of-39 (64.1 per­cent) for 302 yards and four touch­downs. He didn’t throw an in­ter­cep­tion.

“That’s the best game I’ve ever played,” Gray said. “I’ve got that game on tape, and I’ve watched it a lot.”

For the sea­son, Gray was 80of-144 (55.6 per­cent) for 986 yards and 10 touch­downs with five in­ter­cep­tions. His rat­ing was 85.6.

“I feel great about this sit­u­a­tion,” Gray said. “Free agency didn’t go like I thought it would, and I’m ready for a new op­por­tu­nity. I’m ready to sign and start learn­ing a new sys­tem.

“I played with (de­fen­sive tackle) An­thony Mad­dox at Jack­sonville. An­dre John­son is a friend of mine. I look for­ward to sign­ing and get­ting to work.”

The Tex­ans’ non-manda­tory off­sea­son pro­gram be­gins March 31 at their Re­liant Park fa­cil­ity.

john.mcclain@chron.com

STEVE CAMP­BELL :

IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ’EM . . .: Quinn Gray started for the Jaguars against the Tex­ans in the 2007 sea­son finale and, though sacked by Earl Cochran, ac­quit­ted him­self well over­all in a 42-28 loss.

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