The Demaryius Thomas era in Houston is coming to a close. According to a report from NFL Network's James Palmer, the Texans are planning to release the wide receiver on Tuesday, a little more than a month after he tore his Achilles tendon during the Texans' loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The #Texans are expected to release WR Demaryius Thomas today per source. Thomas tore his left Achilles in Week 16. It’s too early for a time table, but he’s returned from the injury quickly in the past. He tore his right Achilles after his rookie season and came back in 6 months— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) February 12, 2019
Houston traded a fourth-round pick and a swap of seventh-round picks to the Denver Broncos to obtain Thomas in October after finding themselves in need of wide receiver help when Will Fuller tore his ACL. Thomas quickly made an impact on his first drive with the Texans (in a game that was coincidentally against his former team) but ended up catching just 23 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.
Thomas, now 31, was set to count against Houston's books for $14 million next season, but can be released without any dead money on the Texans' cap. Considering his relative lack of impact and the late-season injury he suffered, it's not at all surprising that the team is deciding to move on. They should have Fuller back either for the start of the regular season or soon after, and they also have DeAndre Hopkins and Keke Coutee to help Deshaun Watson in the passing game, so Thomas was a bit superfluous for them anyway.
If Thomas is able to prove he's healthy over the summer, he could garner some interest on the market for a team looking to acquire a big target without having to worry about the compensatory pick system. It will presumably be somewhat difficult for him to draw interest when the free agency period begins in March because he will not yet have had the opportunity to fully heal.