Texans re-sign Walter, Turk


As the Texans' oldest player last season, 41-year-old punter Matt Turk set a team and personal record with a 39.4-yard net punting average.

The Texans have re-signed two of their unrestricted free agents, wide receiver Kevin Walter and punter Matt Turk.

The signings were made official today after both players passed their physicals and finished the paperwork on their new deals to remain with the team.

"It's a great feeling to be back," Walter told HoustonTexans.com on Monday. "The Texans wanted me back, and I wanted to be back."

Walter (6-3, 218) was one of the first players the Texans signed after Gary Kubiak became head coach in 2006. The Texans got him for a seventh-round draft pick as a restricted free agent from the Cincinnati Bengals. He has developed into a valuable No. 2 receiver, averaging 59 catches and 770 yards playing opposite Andre Johnson over the past three seasons.

"He came here, earned his way and became a starter and has become a very productive player in this league," Kubiak said. "He stands for everything we want to be at his team. He's accountable, he's a hard worker. You get everything he's got week in and week out and, to me, he's still in the best years of his career. All those things added up to us keeping him going here in Houston."

{QUOTE}Walter was one of the most talked-about names in the NFL after free agency began last Friday, reportedly drawing interest from a number of teams including the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens traded for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin on Friday afternoon. Walter opted to re-up with the Texans, for whom he has played since 2006.

"What I found out on Friday was there were some other teams that were interested, but it feels great that you're wanted here," said Walter, who had put his home up for sale a few weeks ago as a precautionary move. "It feels even better (that) you don't have to move --- we have a three-month old daughter --- and I don't have to learn a new system. There's a lot of factors that go into it, but I'm just glad to be back and I'm ready to get to work."

With Walter back in the mix, the Texans will return their entire receiving corps intact from the 2009 team that led the NFL in passing yards. Walter, Jacoby Jones, David Anderson and André Davis provide a deep and talented supporting cast for Johnson, who has led the league in receiving yards in back-to-back seasons.

"It's obviously a good group, and one of the reasons it's been so good is they've been together," Kubiak said. "It hasn't been splintered. They kind of all have their specialty with David and Jacoby and, of course, Andre. You keep your fingers crossed that they stay healthy and we get the same production out of them, but Kevin in a lot of ways is a leader in what he does."

Turk (6-5, 247) set a Texans record in 2009 with a 39.4-yard net punting average, the highest mark of his 14-year career. His 42.8-yard punting average also was the best in franchise history, and he helped the Texans rank second in the NFL in punt coverage last season with only 4.3 yards allowed per return.

"There's got to be somebody on the team older than me, so that's why we brought him back," Kubiak said of Turk, who's 41. "But no, he's done a hell of a job. He takes care of himself. He punted very well last year. He works hard and does what you ask him to do, so I'm glad he's coming back."

Walter and Turk join guard Mike Brisiel and defensive tackle DelJuan Robinson, a pair of exclusive rights free agents, as players who have been re-signed by the Texans this offseason.

The Texans also announced free agent visits on Monday from New England Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden and Kansas City Chiefs guard Wade Smith.

Follow Nick Scurfield on Twitter at *twitter.com/NickScurfield or find him on the "I'm A Texan Club" at imatexan.com/profiles/Nick_Scurf/.*

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