Dugans earns Texans contract in QB's workout

One of several receivers who flagged down Henson passes during the 45-minute workout, Ron Dugans was impressive enough to earn a contract from the Houston Texans afterwards, a deal that returns him to the NFL after a one-year hiatus.

Updated: February 15, 2004, 12:29 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Turns out the Drew Henson casting call last week for scouts from 20 NFL teams was also a pretty successful audition for free agent wide receiver Ron Dugans.

One of several receivers who caught Henson passes during the 45-minute workout, Dugans was impressive enough to earn a contract from the Houston Texans afterward. The deal ends Dugans' one-year hiatus from the NFL.

Sylvester Morris, another receiver who participated in Henson's workouts, officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The story was first reported by ESPN.com on Friday.

Dugans, 26, missed all of last season while rehabilitating from Achilles tendinitis. He was released by the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 26, receiving an injury settlement, and had a few workouts for other teams during the season.

Now healthy, Dugans ran well in the Henson workout Thursday, caught the ball consistently, and looked as if he might be able to fit in with the Texans' youthful receiving corps.

Contract details were not immediately available, but the deal is likely for the minimum base salary for 2004.

A former Florida State standout, Dugans was a Bengals third-round choice in the 2000 draft, the 66th player chosen overall that year. He appeared in 46 games with 13 starts before the Achilles injury sidelined him in 2003.

Not particularly fast, but a solid route runner, Dugans had 89 catches for 797 yards and three touchdowns in three seasons. He was coming off his best campaign, 47 receptions in 2002, when the Achilles injury struck him down.

Houston officials are hoping that Dugans can earn a spot as a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver and bolster the special teams coverage units. Dugans combined for 41 special teams tackles in 2001-2002.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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