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Texans release Weaver, Salaam, Demps


Defensive end Anthony Weaver underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee earlier this year.

The Texans have released defensive end Anthony Weaver, safety Will Demps and left tackle Ephraim Salaam, the team announced on Wednesday.

Weaver, a second-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2002 NFL Draft, signed with Houston in 2006. He started 15 games for the Texans that season and recorded 35 tackles and one sack before suffering a season-ending injury. In 2007, Weaver started 13 games and finished with a career-high 41 tackles but was plagued with shoulder and knee injuries. The Notre Dame product started every game last season despite seeing a drop in his production level. Earlier this year, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

{QUOTE}Demps joined the Texans as a free agent after the first game of the 2007 season and earned a starting spot midway through the year, ultimately playing in 15 games with eight starts. He was named an AFC Pro Bowl alternate at safety and finished the season with 49 total tackles, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. In 2008, Demps lost his starting position to Eugene Wilson and was inactive for most of the season.

As for Salaam, the 11-year pro was signed by the Texans in 2006 and quickly became a fan favorite with his affable personality and penchant for the spotlight. He started nearly every game at left tackle in his first two seasons with Houston. In 2008, he was forced to the role of backup, coming off the bench for rookie Duane Brown every third series. Salaam and long-time friend and college teammate, guard Chester Pitts, were winners of the 2008 NFL Super Ad contest.

The release of all three players did not come as much of a surprise. The Texans have been vocal this offseason about going after a defensive end who can rush the passer opposite of Mario Williams. Plus, they have said they like the younger talent they drafted last year at the safety and left tackle positions.

"We've got to get better pressuring the quarterback and we've got to get better as a defense as a whole," head coach Gary Kubiak said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Mario's career could improve drastically the more help we can get him upfront, so that is a point of emphasis for our football team."

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