Thank you, KW. - Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The first domino has fallen in Houston's free agency carousel, as long-time wide receiver Kevin Walter has been released.
Fans of the Houston Texans have patiently been awaiting news of the team's first venture into free agency and ESPN's Adam Schefter finally broke news on said move. Take it away, Mr. Schefter.
Texans released WR Kevin Walter, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2013
It's not a totally unexpected move. By releasing Walter, the Texans will save $2.5 million in cap room. This move could signal a soon-to-be-announced extension for defensive end Antonio Smith or linebacker Brian Cushing or a new contract for one of their free agents.
Walter was with the Texans for seven years after being acquired for a seventh-round pick from the Cincinnati Bengals. Walter was known as the teacher of the squad, offering tips to younger receiver. He was also a devastating blocker. The Texans often used Walter in-line and off-motion to block, which is rare for a receiver.
That said, the man affectionately known as K-Dubs was clearly losing a step outside and saw his numbers decline after his career season in 2008, when he had 899 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. For his Texans career, Walter started in 89 out of 109 games played and caught 326 passes for 4,083 yards and 24 touchdowns, all third all-time behind Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels.
I imagine Walter will catch on somewhere and eventually be a fine wide receivers coach when he hangs up the cleats. No matter what, he's definitely earned a spot in Texans all-time history.
Houston Texans game winning touchdown vs Bengals (via gman8902)
Good luck in the future, Kevin Walter (not Walters).