Texans coach Gary Kubiak announced today that kicker Kris Brown will be released, putting the team's kicking game at the feet of Neil Rackers.
When the transaction is made official on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT, it'll be the end of an era for Brown and the Texans.
Brown was the last remaining original Texan on the roster, having signed with the team before its inaugural season in 2002. At the time, the Southlake native was a free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers and entering his fourth NFL season out of Nebraska.
Over the next eight seasons, Brown participated in all 128 games in Texans history. He leaves as the franchise's all-time leading scorer with 767 points, and it'll be a while before anyone passes that mark. Wide receiver Andre Johnson is next on the list with 256 points.
Brown leaves a legacy off the field as well. He and his wife, Amy, are actively involved in the Houston community. The "Kris Brown's Kick Club," established in 2003, raised money for the Texas Children's Hospital Charity Care Program. Brown annually participated in the Texans' TACT program, which provides free game tickets to groups of local children. He also served on the NFL Charities Super Bowl Service Committee and serves on the board of directors for the Lymphoma Leukemia Society.
Kubiak said that cutting Brown was one of the toughest decisions he's ever had to make as a coach.
"It was miserable," Kubiak said on Friday. "I don't know how to put it any different. Kris and I had a lot of conversations throughout my time here, and of course he's been here a lot longer than I have. We've had some great conversations; we've had some tough conversations on Sunday nights, but I respect him as a man. He's a great person.
"I respect his career; I know he's going to continue to have a good one. I think he also knows my job and what I have to do. So from that standpoint, I think we had a very good conversation and wished each other the best. Our paths will probably cross again someday. That's the way it works. It's a tough day."
Though the 2009 season was the worst of Brown's career, the 2008 season was his best. He had no shortage of highlights in his tenure with the team.
Brown made 10 game-winning field goals in eight seasons with the Texans. Three of them resulted in him winning the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award, as detailed below:
Sept. 26, 2004 – Week 3 at Kansas City:Brown made a 49-yarder with two seconds remaining to beat the Chiefs 24-21 at Arrowhead Stadium. He was 3-of-3 on field goals on the day, converting from 28 and 49 yards before the game-winner. He also had one extra point.
Dec. 24, 2006 – Week 16 vs. Indianapolis:A 48-yarder as time expired gave the Texans a 27-24 victory over the eventual Super Bowl Champion Colts in Gary Kubiak's first season. It's the only time the Texans have beaten the Colts in 16 tries. Brown also made a 42-yarder in the game and kicked three extra points.
Oct. 7, 2007 – Week 5 vs. Miami:With one second remaining, Brown made a career-long 57-yarder to beat the Dolphins by a score of 22-19. Brown was five-of-five on field goals in the game and had one extra point, accounting for 16 of the Texans' 22 points. He tied an NFL record by becoming just the third kicker in NFL history to make three field goals of 50 yards or more in one game, which included two from 54 and the game-winner from 57.
Finally, here's a look at Brown's stats from 2002-09:
Totals172-of-223 (77.1 percent) on field goals, 251-of-253 (99.2 percent) on extra points
Field goals from…
…1-19 yards: 3-of-4 (75.0 percent)
…20-29 yards: 52-of-56 (92.9 percent)
…30-39 yards: 49-of-61 (80.3 percent)
…40-49 yards: 54-of-74 (73.0 percent)
…50 yards: 14-of-28 (50 percent)
Field goals season-by-season2002: 17-of-24 (70.8 percent)
2003: 18-of-22 (81.8 percent)
2004: 17-of-24 (70.8 percent)
2005: 26-of-34 (76.5 percent)
2006: 19-of-25 (76.0 percent)
2007: 25-of-29 (86.2 percent)
2008: 29-of-33 (87.9 percent)
2009: 21-of-32 (65.6 percent)