No active offensive lineman held a longer tenure with the New England Patriots than Marcus Cannon.
Now, after the new league year brought a trade to the Houston Texans, the 2011 fifth-round draft choice out of TCU is excited to begin another in his home state.
“It feels great. It feels great. A dream come true,” Cannon told the Houston media during his introductory video conference on Monday. “I grew up in Odessa, West Texas, and moved there from New Mexico. I really learned how football is. Playing in Odessa, playing in West Texas and playing in Texas in general, every kid that plays wants to play in Texas in the NFL. They would love to play here. But you don’t get the choice where you play most of the time. I got drafted to the Patriots and, man, I’m so thankful for those years that I had there. But my dream always has been to play right here in the great state of Texas.”
Between his regular seasons and postseasons with New England, Cannon, 32, appeared in 134 games and started 80. The snaps came both at guard and at tackle, where he carved a long-term place on the right side. Second-team All-Pro honors and three Super Bowl rings had been accrued by the time Cannon, a non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor, opted out of the 2020 campaign due to Covid-19 concerns.
Two years remained on his tolled contract when reports of the deal between head coach Bill Belichick’s Patriots and general manager Nick Caserio’s Texans surfaced midway through March.
“When I heard the news, Belichick called me and let me know that they were trading me,” Cannon said. “It was bittersweet because I have a lot of friends there, have a lot of memories there. That was the bitter part, but the sweet part is that I’m playing in Texas again. I don’t have any woes about playing here. There’s only positives. It’s a change from where I was, but I’m ready to attack it and I’m ready to do the best I can for this organization.”
New England acquired No. 122 overall and No. 188 overall in the 2021 NFL draft from Houston in exchange for selections in the fifth and sixth rounds as well as Cannon.
“Players find out earlier than the news the team puts out, so it was fun trying to keep my family from posting things and telling too many people,” added Cannon. “It was mainly my mom. She texted me every day, asking if the Texans had let the news out so she could tell all her family, all her sisters and brothers and friends. My family was just happy. I came to the door and told my wife. My kids were there, and they all just were so happy that they could stay here. It’s been great.”
A dozen past Patriots accompany Cannon on the Texans’ roster as the calendar turns to April. That dozen includes Brandin Cooks, Donte Moncrief, Paul Quessenberry, Ryan Izzo, Hjalte Froholdt, Cole Toner and Jordan Steckler on the offensive side of the ball. It continues on the defensive side with Derek Rivers, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Keion Crossen, A.J. Moore and Terrence Brooks.