Texans Free Agency 2012: Eric Winston Becomes Cap Casulty, Cut By Houston

Eric Winston has been informed by the Houston Texans that his services are no longer required. Winston, the starting tackle for the Texans since 2007, was due to make $5.5 million in the 2012 season. The Texans were unwilling to pay that amount to their tackle, and notified him of his release on Monday.

Winston went to Twitter to inform fans of the news, along with his final thoughts about the Texans organization.

"Unfortunately I have bad news," Winston wrote. "The Texans have decided to release me today. Although it is a surprise, I have nothing but positive memories and great relationships that I have built over the years. While my future seems uncertain, I am confident I will land on my feet. Let me say thank you to Mr. McNair and the whole Texan organization. They have had big role in the player and person I have become. And last but not least to my fans and teammates. You guys are the absolute best! I will miss all of you more than you know." -- Eric Winston

Winston instantly becomes the best free agent available in the pool of available players as teams are able to begin negotiating with players on Tuesday. Will Houston draft to backfill Winston's position at tackle, acquire via free agency or will a backup emerge?

For more on the Houston Texans, check out Battle Red Blog, and for the latest news from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's NFL page.

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