The Texans acquired Laremy Tunsil in a blockbuster trade yesterday, and Kalil was deemed expendable in the wake of it. Just a couple of weeks ago Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said unequivocally that Kalil would be the team’s starting left tackle in 2019, but obviously things have changed since then. Kalil would’ve been a backup with Tunsil now in the fold, and the Texans didn’t want to pay him his large salary to ride the bench.
Former Browns fifth-round pick Roderick Johnson is now set to begin the year as the top backup tackle, and he comes at a much cheaper price. Kalil signed a one-year deal back in March that would’ve been worth $7.5MM had he stayed on the active roster the whole season. He received a $2.25MM signing bonus which the Texans will have to eat, but they’ll save the other $5.25MM by cutting him now.
The fourth overall pick of the 2012 draft, Kalil signed a massive five-year, $55MM contract with the Panthers before the 2017 season. He started all 16 games for Carolina that year, but missed the entire 2018 season with a knee injury. Now on the wrong side of 30 and coming off a major injury, it might be tough for him to find a starting job. That being said, he’ll likely resurface soon with a team in need of tackle help.