The Houston Texans released veteran defensive end Whitney Mercilus on Tuesday.
Mercilus, 31, told Sports Talk 790 that he was informed of the impending move on Monday by the Texans, who are looking toward the future. Mercilus also addressed his future in regard to potential landing spots.
“As far as it goes, (I’d like) to be with a team that has a chance to make it to the playoffs, to make it to the Super Bowl,” he said. “To be with a contender honestly is the direction that I want to go.”
Mercilus took to social media to express his appreciation to the Texans organization.
“It was 10 years ago I received the call that would forever change my life. The Houston Texans organization welcomed me with open arms and the City of Houston became home,” Mercilus wrote on Instagram.
“To the McNair family … Thank you for believing in a kid from Akron, Ohio.
“To my teammates who have become my brothers for life … Thank you for the talks, thank you for having my back on the field and thank you for always coming through for my work in the community.
“Texans fans … You have been amazing! We’ve been together through both exciting and challenging times, and I’ll always admire the heart and perseverance of the Houston community. No matter what, you’ve always showed up and supported me on and off the field.”
Mercilus recorded 12 tackles and 3.0 sacks in six games (two starts) this season. He has 357 tackles and 57 sacks in 134 career games (102 starts) since being selected by the Texans with the 26th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
His game total is the third-most in franchise history, while his sack total is second behind current Arizona Cardinals star J.J. Watt.
“There aren’t many players in franchise history who have impacted our organization and community the way Whitney Mercilus has,” Texans CEO Cal McNair said. “I can recall a number of times over the last 10 seasons where he stepped up for us on the field with a sack or big play in a crucial moment, but it was his unique connection with the Houston community that made him one of the most popular players in franchise history. Our fan base gravitated to Whitney from day one and he always found ways to give back and serve through his foundation and culinary work. My family and the entire organization will always consider Whitney a Texan.”
–Field Level Media