Texans confident Butler can replace Winston

Posted March 16, 2012 @ 3:28 p.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

The fact that former Texans OLB Mario Williams departed in free agency to become the highest-paid defensive player in the league was hardly a surprise to most league observers. The release of ORT Eric Winston by the club in a cap-savings move, however, qualified as a "stunner," according to one source close to the situation. Word is the release of Winston came down to the Texans valuing unrestricted free-agent C Chris Myers, whom they made a very generous offer and hope to re-sign, more than their former right tackle. Although Myers is three years older than Winston, the source said the Texans believe OT Rashad Butler, a six-year veteran who will step into Winston's spot in the starting lineup, is less of a drop-off from Winston than ORG Mike Brisiel, also an unrestricted free agent who could move on, would be in replacing Myers. Butler spent last season on injured reserve with a torn triceps, but played well enough in four starts in 2010 in place of OLT Duane Brown, who was suspended, to warrant the move.