Houston Texans releasing veteran RB Arian Foster

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The Texans are releasing one of the greatest players in franchise history.

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, the franchise’s all-time leader in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, yards per game and total scoring for a non-kicker, will no longer be on the roster according, the team announced Thursday. ESPN first reported the news.

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“There are not many players I respect more than Arian Foster Jerseys,” general manager Rick Smith said in a statement. “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.”
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Foster’s agent, Mike McCartney tweeted the following: “What a great RUN @ArianFoster had with the @HoustonTexans! Thanks to the Texans & I’m personally excited what lies ahead for Arian!”

Foster, 29, had an incredible stretch in Houston. The former undrafted free agent, buoyed by his versatile skillset and shrewd understanding of the zone blocking system, racked up 4,264 yards and 41 touchdowns over an unconscious three-year span between 2010 and 2012. In that time, he also caught more than 100 passes for 1,438 yards and six touchdowns.

Unfortunately, Foster suffered from injury issues like most players at the position eventually do. He underwent microscopic lumbar discectomy surgery, which prematurely ended his 2013 season after just eight games. A comeback season in 2014 — 1,246 rushing yards and eight touchdowns — was followed by a ruptured Achilles tendon just four games in to 2015.

At the combine a week ago, Texans general manager Rick Smith said that if the Texans cut Foster, it would not be because of his salary. Foster was set to earn $6.5 million in 2016.

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“As it relates to all the free agent conversations, I’m never really going to tell you one way or the other what we are doing, but I will tell you this: his salary is not a reason why we would cut Arian,” Smith said.

It appears that health is the ultimate culprit. Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, “availability as much as anything” contributed to Foster’s release. He was, according to the Houston Chronicle, recently cleared to begin jogging and does plan on playing this season.

The development begs two questions: How will the Texans move on from a leadership standpoint and where might Foster land next?

The next few months will be very interesting.

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