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Report: Brian Cushing Will Be Released

The Texans part ways with the inside linebacker they selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Texans have told Brian Cushing they plan to release him come March 14th, when the new league year starts.

The Texans’ 2009 first round pick is finally seeing his time in Houston come to an end. This wasn’t unexpected. Cushing his a fine run-stopper between the tackles. He has a similar, but worse, skill set than Benardrick McKinney. Last season, Cushing was suspended for ten games for failing another performance enhancing drug test, the second of his career (the first of which allowed him to became the only two-time NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year). What is probably most important in the analysis is this: By releasing Cushing the Texans will save $7,640,625.00 in cap space. This is money that can be used to upgrade more deficient positions on the roster, like the offensive line and the secondary.

Cushing was mean, rough, and tough. He wore that deep macabre eye black, flexed his muscles, and yanked his tongue out after every crushing hit. He is the leading tackler in franchise history. He gave great copy when he was mic’d up, over and over again. But Cushing, like Duane Brown, Arian Foster, and Andre Johnson before him, is gone to go play football somewhere else. This time, the Texans will be better off by shedding the salary and giving the second inside linebacker position to Zach Cunningham.

Your thoughts on Cushing’s impending release?

UPDATE: Adam Schefter says it’s now official.