4:21pm: Foster was cut with a failed physical designation, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. As Wilson observes, that’s not a surprise, since the veteran back is still recovering from his torn Achilles.
9:47am: The Texans have officially released Foster, the team announced (via Twitter).
8:50am: Arian Foster‘s seven-year run in Houston will come to an end this offseason, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the running back has been informed the Texans are releasing him. Agent Mike McCartney confirmed the decision in a statement on Twitter.
“What a great RUN @ArianFoster had with the @HoustonTexans!” McCartney tweeted. “Thanks to the Texans & I’m personally excited what lies ahead for Arian!”
Foster, 29, accumulated 6,472 rushing yards during his seven years as a Texan, and that figure would have been even higher if injuries had not slowed him down over the course of the last three seasons. After earning three consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2010 to 2012, averaging about 1,900 all purpose yards and 16 touchdowns in those seasons, Foster has been limited to 25 regular-season games from 2013 to 2015.
In 2015, Foster was slowed by a groin injury in training camp and the preseason, and later suffered a torn Achilles, landing him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. When he played, he was at his least productive, averaging only 2.6 yards per carry on 63 attempts. Still, if he recovers well from the Achilles injury, the Tennessee alum could have something left in the tank — he was a Pro Bowler in 2014, piling up 1,246 rushing yards in just 13 contests.
From a cap perspective, Foster’s release will create $6.625MM in savings for the Texans, leaving just $2.3MM in dead money on the team’s cap for 2016. At the scouting combine in Indianapolis though, general manager Rick Smith indicated that if the Texans were to cut their longtime running back, it wouldn’t be because of his salary.
“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 last week.
Assuming Foster is healthy and continues his playing career, there are several teams that could be fits. Two that come to mind are the Broncos – who employ former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak – and the Jets, who have multiple running backs facing free agency and whose GM is former Houston executive Mike Maccagnan.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.