Former East standout signs with Texans

Columbus East graduate Stevie Brown, who makes his offseason home in Houston, signed a one-year contract Wednesday to play for the NFL’s Houston Texans.

He had spent the past three seasons with the New York Giants, who signed him to a $2.75 million contract last season.

According to reports, the Giants were believed to have offered the safety only the veteran’s minimum contract for the 2015 season. Houston, which had Brown visit last week, is trying to trade safety D.J. Swearinger, according to news reports.

Brown, a former Columbus East and University of Michigan standout, was drafted in the seventh round in 2010 by the Oakland Raiders. Brown was released in 2011 and claimed by the Carolina Panthers. After being waived by the Panthers, he spent the 2011 season with the Indianapolis Colts.

Brown had his breakout year in 2012 with the Giants when he finished second in the NFL with eight interceptions. But then he tore an ACL in the 2013 preseason and missed the entire regular season. Brown returned last season but lost his starting job when the Giants shuffled their defensive backfield.

“This will be the sixth year he’s been in the league, and as a defensive back, it’s tough to stay in the league,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “Somebody taking a look at him and signing him speaks a lot of Stevie. Somebody obviously still thinks he can play, and I know Stevie still thinks he can play, and that’s the important thing.

“I’ve talked before that I think a lot of Stevie and his work ethic and how much of a professional he is,” Gaddis said. “His work ethic is tremendous.”

As a member of the AFC South, the Texans play the Colts twice every year, including once in Indianapolis. This year, the Texans visit the Colts on Dec. 20.

“I think it’s great,” said John Sims, who played with Brown at East and is now an assistant coach for the Olympians and remains friends with Brown. “He’s been very successful playing in the NFL. I texted him earlier today and said ‘Congratulations.’ I’m really happy for him.”

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.