Texans release RB Arian Foster, TE Garrett Graham
Foster leaves Houston as all-time leading rusher
HOUSTON – After seven seasons, the Houston Texans have decided to release all-time leading rusher Arian Foster.
Texans Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Rick Smith made an official statement about Foster's release:
"There are not many players I respect more than Arian Foster. He maximized his opportunity as an undrafted college free agent and worked to become the most productive back in franchise history, and one of the most complete backs in the NFL during his tenure with the Texans. Arian has contributed much, and meant a great deal to the success of the franchise over the past seven seasons and we wish him only the best as he continues his playing career."
Foster suffered a torn Achilles tendon during week seven last season that ended his campaign.
Foster played in just four games in 2015 after suffering a groin injury during training camp.
He was largely ineffective running the ball gaining just 2.6 yards per carry, far off his 4.5 yards per carry over his career.
Injuries plagued Foster throughout his time in Houston. He played in just 25 games over the last three seasons.
A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Foster also caught 249 passes for 2,268 yards, which places him fifth on the team's all-time receiving yards list. He joined the Texans as an undrafted free-agent immediately after the 2009 NFL draft and would begin his first season as a member of the team's practice squad before being signed to the active roster in November. He made his first career NFL start in the final game of the 2009 season and gained 119 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns against the New England Patriots.
In 2016, he was set to entering the final year of a five-year contract signed following his 2011 season in which he rushed for 1,224 yards and had 12 touchdowns. He followed that season by leading the NFL with 1,424 yards rushing and 17 total touchdowns. His 54 touchdowns rushing and 6,472 yards rushing are franchise bests for the Texans.
The team clears just over $6 million in cap space with this move.
Former Texans tackle Wade Smith posted a picture on his Instagram account of an on-field memory he had with Foster.
"The great ones come and go, but these moments live on forever. Salute to another 'Great One' that is moving on @arianfoster," Smith wrote.
Texans release TE Garrett Graham
The Texans have also released tight end Garrett Graham, according to multiple reports.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport tweeted the news Thursday.
Graham played in eight games in 2015, with four receptions, including a touchdown. In five seasons in Houston, Graham had 100 catches for 1,059 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He dropped down behind fellow tight ends C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ryan Griffin on the Texans depth chart.
The 29-year-old was drafted out of the University of Wisconsin in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.