The Texans have 19 players who are set to become free agents when their contracts expire at midnight ET on March 3.
Three of those players have been to a Pro Bowl with the Texans: running back Arian Foster (2010), fullback Vonta Leach (2010) and tight end Owen Daniels (2008). Foster will be an exclusive rights player, which essentially means that he can't go anywhere if the Texans tender him.
Eleven impending free agents started at least two games last season: Foster (13), Daniels (10), Leach (5), defensive tackle Shaun Cody (16), strong safety Bernard Pollard (15), linebacker Zac Diles (10), guard Mike Brisiel (9), linebacker Kevin Bentley (8), wide receiver Jacoby Jones (7), tackle Rashad Butler (4) and defensive end Mark Anderson (2).
Among the other potential free agents are 42-year-old punter Matt Turk, who has been with the Texans since 2007, and running back Derrick Ward, who averaged 6.3 yards per carry last season as the backup to Foster.
Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement system, players with two or less accrued seasons are exclusive rights; players with three, four or five accrued seasons are restricted free agents; and players with six or more accrued seasons are unrestricted free agents. Some of those terms could be subject to change depending on the particulars of the next CBA.
Eight of the Texans' 19 potential free agents have contracts that are expiring after six or more accrued seasons: Bentley, Cody, Leach, Turk, Ward, defensive tackle Damione Lewis, defensive end Jarvis Green and cornerback Karl Paymah.
Five players have contracts expiring after five accrued seasons: Anderson, Butler, Daniels, Pollard and quarterback Matt Leinart.
Four players have contracts expiring after four accrued seasons: Diles, Jones, defensive end Tim Bulman and guard Kasey Studdard. Brisiel's contract is expiring after three seasons, and Foster's is expiring after two.