Longtime starting wide receiver Kevin Walter was released by the Houston Texans, ending his seven-year stint with the franchise.
Walter started 89 regular-season games with the Texans. The 31-year-old began his career with the Cincinnati Bengals as a seventh-round pick in 2003, but started just two games in three seasons in Cincinnati.
By releasing Walter, the Texans save $2.5 million against the salary cap in 2013.
Walter developed into more than an imposing blocker opposite Andre Johnson. He caught 125 passes for 1,699 yards and 12 touchdowns in 32 games from 2007-08.
Without Walter, the Texans' need for a playmaking wide receiver is further highlighted. He caught 41 passes for 518 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.
The depth chart is lacking experience and explosiveness behind Johnson. They drafted wide receivers in the third and fourth rounds last April. But Keshawn Martin was primarily a return man and DeVier Posey, the team's third-round pick, tore his ACL in January.