Texans Release Leinart, Winston; Aim To Keep Williams

HOUSTON (March 13, 2012) -- Texans owner Bob McNair wants to re-sign outside linebacker Mario Williams and says he's not interested in pursuing Peyton Manning.

Williams will become an unrestricted free agent unless he can reach a last-minute deal with Houston. Otherwise, Williams would probably become the most coveted defensive player on the market.

McNair shot down speculation that the Texans were ever in the running to sign Manning, the four-time MVP who became a free agent when he was released by Indianapolis a week ago. McNair said the Texans are committed to Matt Schaub, who played in 10 games last season before breaking his right foot.

The Texans have released quarterback Matt Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, and right tackle Eric Winston, a stalwart on one of the league's best offensive lines.

Matt Leinart says he is done in Houston.

Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, signed with the Texans in September 2010 after he was cut by Arizona. The quarterback thanked Houston owner Bob McNair and the team on his Twitter account for giving him the opportunity to play.

"I will miss the Texans fans and most importantly my teammates," Leinart wrote. "I have no time to get down, focus is on getting healthy and being ready to go again!"

Leinart played in only two games for Houston. He finally got a chance to play after Matt Schaub broke his foot last season, but Leinart broke his left collarbone in the first half against Jacksonville on Nov. 27 and went on injured reserve.

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