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Texans cut Eric Winston

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Eric Winston is on the way out in Houston.

Winston, an offensive tackle who has started all 16 games for five straight seasons, wrote on Twitter on Monday evening that the Texans informed him they’re letting him go.

We noted a week ago that Winston’s $5.5 million base salary made him a candidate to be asked to take a pay cut or restructure his contract, but the Texans’ decision to release him today still comes as a surprise. It was a shock to Winston.

“Unfortunately I have bad news,” Winston wrote. “The Texans have decided to release me today. Although it is a surprise, I have nothing but positive memories and great relationships that I have built over the years. While my future seems uncertain, I am confident I will land on my feet. Let me say thank you to Mr. McNair and the whole Texan organization. They have had big role in the player and person I have become. And last but not least to my fans and teammates. You guys are the absolute best! I will miss all of you more than you know.”

Now Winston becomes an unrestricted free agent, joining Levi Brown as the second starting offensive tackle to join the free agent market today.

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59 Responses to “Texans cut Eric Winston”
  1. berniemadoffsides says: Mar 12, 2012 6:52 PM


  2. bigshirk says: Mar 12, 2012 6:52 PM

    WOW! One of the best RT’s in the game.

  3. ch8878 says: Mar 12, 2012 6:53 PM

    Welcome to Oakland as the Right Tackle.

  4. banvard316 says: Mar 12, 2012 6:53 PM

    Now there’s a tackle you people should want!

  5. thetooloftools says: Mar 12, 2012 6:54 PM

    Hello Cleveland !

  6. micbg77 says: Mar 12, 2012 6:54 PM

    Another OT getting cut? Nice…Bills need to act on one of these guys.

  7. dondiraider says: Mar 12, 2012 6:55 PM


  8. contra74 says: Mar 12, 2012 6:55 PM

    Vikings…pick him up and draft Kalil for classic bookends!

  9. dolfanatik says: Mar 12, 2012 6:55 PM

    Smart move for miami to bring him back to his college town where he won a national title. Our biggest need is RT

  10. oreo51 says: Mar 12, 2012 6:58 PM

    Seattle can use you big guy. Give John Schneider a call.

  11. jswheeler says: Mar 12, 2012 6:59 PM

    Welcome to the Patriots !

  12. RebelKrishna says: Mar 12, 2012 7:00 PM

    Please get him, Philly.

  13. ytownie says: Mar 12, 2012 7:03 PM

    Cleveland–Pashos cut! Sign Winston!

  14. Grinds My Gear says: Mar 12, 2012 7:03 PM

    Probably going to Oakland. They need a RT with Barnes gone, and two unproven 2nd and 3rd year player. Besides that Houston’s QB coach is now the OC and their o-line coach is now with Oakland.

  15. cardsfann1 says: Mar 12, 2012 7:04 PM

    Cards need him to protect Peyton!!!

  16. citnetter says: Mar 12, 2012 7:06 PM

    Dang, didn’t see this one coming at all. He’s been decent, but not great the last couple of years. Some in Houston thought he’d move to Guard if they lost Briesel.

  17. mc9399 says: Mar 12, 2012 7:07 PM

    miami if doesnt ask for much, we only have 14mil plus hes gotta prove he’s not a scheme player,otherwise we could just draft someone or give murtha a chance

  18. kmot1977 says: Mar 12, 2012 7:08 PM

    He’s overrated. Most expendable guy on texans oline. Good run blocker in zone scheme. Gets beat way too much in pass game

  19. mthoover says: Mar 12, 2012 7:08 PM

    Just the kind of guy the Chiefs are looking for. This is a Pioli-style RT, arguably the Chiefs’ biggest need. They have the room and the need, so I can see this happening quickly. Frees them up to select a NT, QB, or HB in the draft.

  20. unclenasty says: Mar 12, 2012 7:10 PM

    Cant remember a time when there were so many talented free agents..and the list keeps on growing.

  21. ytownie says: Mar 12, 2012 7:11 PM

    Cleveland more info! Pashos= 12 million, 2 yrs. and he missed 75% of the games because of injuries. Winston= 5.5 million@yr, 5 yrs, 16 games a yr. no misses, on one of the best running lines in the NFL. Do the math Heckart!

  22. btowngetsdown says: Mar 12, 2012 7:13 PM

    Wayne Hunter’s starting prospects are getting bleaker and bleaker. Jets could use a solid right tackle, particularly since Sanchez fumbles the ball like he just got done eating buttered popcorn.

  23. allinblindsevenduece says: Mar 12, 2012 7:14 PM

    Tomorrow is getting more interesting by the minute.

  24. anrockray says: Mar 12, 2012 7:14 PM

    there’s always a reason a team let’s a guy like this go but my phins need a right tackle in the worst way…

  25. vaphinfan says: Mar 12, 2012 7:14 PM


  26. bigshirk says: Mar 12, 2012 7:15 PM

    Texans Assistant O-line Coach and QB Coach went to Oakland, You have to think Oakland is a very possible landing spot.

  27. mercurialcj says: Mar 12, 2012 7:15 PM

    Hell of a player. Not sure why they’d let him go, the offensive line is the heart of that team.

  28. plundergrunge says: Mar 12, 2012 7:18 PM


    John Elway, please make this happen.

  29. bigkatvik7 says: Mar 12, 2012 7:24 PM

    Even though his play slipped a bit in 2011 (he gave up increased sacks in 3 straight years) he was still solid at RT. Team leader and solid citizen to boot.

    Surprising move considering continuity on OL is big for a zone blocking team who lacks vocal offensive leaders.

  30. harness88 says: Mar 12, 2012 7:26 PM

    Vikings will get him!

  31. humboldt420 says: Mar 12, 2012 7:27 PM

    Oakland seems like a logical landing spot for Winston (if he doesn’t re-sign with the Texans).

    The Raiders new offensive line coach was the assistant O-line coach for the Texans last season and the new O-coordinator, Greg Knapp, was with the Texans as QB coach last year.

    However, with Reggie McKenzie as the new Raiders GM, I don’t expect Oakland to be writing big checks anymore. In fact, I expect Oakland to be very frugal these days so big names like Winston may not be on Oakland’s radar at all.

  32. galvestontexans says: Mar 12, 2012 7:28 PM

    What are they thinking

  33. broadwaytucc says: Mar 12, 2012 7:31 PM

    Can one of these guys replace Wayne Hunter please!!!

  34. droopyyydog1 says: Mar 12, 2012 7:32 PM

    This has got to be a no brainer for Ireland. I know that sounds a little optimistic but how can the Dolphins not make this move ?

  35. lbmclean says: Mar 12, 2012 8:25 PM

    “Pioli-style RT”


    Pioli tackles are the best, unlike the rest of the league’s short-armed, slow-footed tackles

    thank you Scott for thinking outside the box on RT’s

  36. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Mar 12, 2012 8:28 PM

    Bucs need to throw piles of cash at this guy.

  37. jnova80 says: Mar 12, 2012 8:30 PM

    Man I can’t wait for tomorrow. This is the biggest free agency in a long time.

  38. mmcdan133 says: Mar 12, 2012 8:47 PM

    I could see the Chiefs overpaying this guy to try and justify being so dysfunctional that Manning wouldn’t even visit regardless of the fact that they’re the only team that could sign him and still be 20 million under the cap.

  39. jagsfanugh says: Mar 12, 2012 8:55 PM

    Jacksonville is his landing spot. Stay in AFC South baby!!!

  40. rdrllldubk says: Mar 12, 2012 8:57 PM

    And the one position of need for Oaklands O-Line!

  41. warhog21 says: Mar 12, 2012 9:15 PM

    Future Redskin waiting to happen! Sorry but he would rather be on a Kyle Shanahan offense protecting RG3.

  42. bucrightoff says: Mar 12, 2012 9:17 PM

    Kick Truebloods useless ass to the curb and spend the money Dominik!

  43. mrslay1 says: Mar 12, 2012 9:24 PM

    Cowboys Cowboys!!!

  44. ravenmad1 says: Mar 12, 2012 9:29 PM

    And they just cut Matt Lienart too!

  45. subseaservices says: Mar 12, 2012 9:36 PM

    Giants! please make this happen Jerry Reese.

  46. flaccounibrow says: Mar 12, 2012 9:40 PM

    Cleveland fans. No worthwhile FA with options will want to come to Cleveland. 1. The city is cursed. 2. The city is miserable 3. The browns are horrible year in and out. 4. The city is cursed

  47. FinFan68 says: Mar 12, 2012 9:49 PM

    Reif would be cheaper in the draft but there is no guarantee he would be available to the Dolphins. The Could get Winston and free up their first pick for Tannehill if he makes it past the Browns.

  48. georgebrett says: Mar 12, 2012 9:52 PM

    Is it just me or is the NFL able to make huge deals with players and if they don’t pan out it’s no big deal because it’s easy to let them go. What’s the answer?

  49. commitment2excrement says: Mar 12, 2012 10:00 PM

    Raiders? Big Checks? How about the Raiders worry about getting under the cap first…

  50. alpha1male says: Mar 12, 2012 10:01 PM

    As a Texans fan – WTF Texans? One of the best linemen on one of
    The best/most productive O-Lines and we cut him? No trade? We just signed Arian and cut his roadl grader? Damn! I had high hopes for this year!

  51. skol85 says: Mar 12, 2012 10:13 PM

    I love all the Raiders fans thinking they have a chance to sign him. Your team is like 20 mill over the cap!

  52. httr73 says: Mar 12, 2012 10:25 PM

    Seems like Washington would be a fit given they run basically the same offense and our current RT is always injured. Sound like he wouldn’t break the bank either and given Washtington’s current screwing over by the league, errrr, I mean salary cap limitations, it may make sense financially.

  53. rajbais says: Mar 12, 2012 10:35 PM

    Philly, get him!!!

  54. db3300 says: Mar 12, 2012 10:50 PM

    Seems like a lot of armchair GMs are placing too much faith in a player following an old coach. Money talks.

  55. georgebrett says: Mar 12, 2012 10:56 PM

    $20 million over? Where did you see that number?

  56. phreakin says: Mar 12, 2012 11:16 PM

    PLEASE let Arizona sign him. They are going to let Levi Brown walk, as they should, so they need a new tackle. Sign Winston and then draft a tackle with their first pick.

    Arizona is willing to sign Levi to a deal worth between 6-7 million. Give Winston a 3 year, 19 million dollar deal instead and they’d be golden.

  57. holdthebeans says: Mar 12, 2012 11:34 PM

    Looks like Houston may want to try and keep super mario.

  58. Sinan says: Mar 13, 2012 12:35 AM

    depending in price, the Chargers might look at him even though they have one at RT…

  59. maxvain says: Mar 13, 2012 5:33 AM

    Miami will be or should be bidders for you. Use $ that would have gone to bring back RG Vernon Carey to sign RT Eric and the draft a guard in the 2nd or 3rd.

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