The Texans signed Colvin in June after he was released by New England. They had hoped he could be a situational pass rusher, but decided he wasn't valuable enough to take up a roster spot.
"The bottom line was to have a player on your team to just play nickel, he would have to be special," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We had to sit there and weigh him against players who could play special teams and do some other things for our team."
Colvin had recovered from a foot injury that kept him out of the last five games and the playoffs last season. However, he struggled since arriving in Houston and wasn't anywhere close to becoming the pass rushing threat opposite Mario Williams the Texans were looking for.
Colvin had 52½ sacks in nine seasons in Chicago and New England.
Houston has one more cut to make and is evaluating running back Chris Brown to see if he is healthy enough to contribute this season. Brown, who was signed this offseason, has been struggling with back problems since the start of training camp.
Also released Friday was veteran safety Glenn Earl, who started 15 games in 2006 but missed all of last season with a fractured foot, and defensive tackle Anthony Maddox, who spent the last two seasons with the team.
Other players released were fullback Jon Abbate, quarterbacks Shane Boyd and Alex Brink, linebackers Kevis Coley and Ben Moffitt, center Greg Eslinger, cornerbacks Jamar Fletcher, Derrick Roberson and Dexter Wynn, receivers Darnell Jenkins, LeRon McCoy and Mark Simmons, tight end Ryan Krause, defensive linemen Gabe Long and Jesse Nading, running back Marcel Shipp and tackle Torrin Tucker.
The AFC champion New England Patriots released four players a day after wrapping up their first winless preseason since 1990 with a 19-14 loss to the New York Giants.
The cuts of tackle Steve Fifita, offensive lineman Jimmy Martin, cornerback Jeff Shoate and tight end Jonathan Stupar leave New England with 71 players before Saturday's deadline. Teams also keep eight-player practice squads, but those players have to clear waivers first.
"We have watched (Thursday's) game and moved on pretty quickly to meetings on roster decisions, personnel options and things like that," coach Bill Belichick said in a Friday conference call. "It was a short night, but we just have to push through it here and figure out our final roster decisions."
The New Orleans Saints placed receiver Adrian Arrington, a seventh-round draft pick, on season-ending injured reserve and released seven players. Arrington severely sprained his toe during the preseason opener against Arizona, and the Saints weren't sure how long it would take him to recover.
The Saints terminated the contract of recently acquired veteran safety Lance Schulters and waived defensive end Jeremy Geathers, tight end Ronnie Ghent, defensive end Marcus Pittman, safety David Roach, guard Isaiah Ross and tackle Brian Stamper.