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Texans Inform Arian Foster He Will Be Released
Whether his days of being a fantasy football contributor are over remains to be seen, but Arian Foster's time as the Houston Texans' primary offensive weapon is coming to an end.

And that certainly doesn't bode well for his future in the NFL.

According to multiple reports, the Texans informed Foster that he'll be released, ending a long, successful run with the AFC South champions that began with him joining the team as an undrafted free agent and later emerging as one of the top running backs in the NFL.

Foster, 29, is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in October and underwent groin surgery in August.

Foster is due a $6.5 million nonguaranteed base salary heading into the final year of a five-year, $43.5 million contract. Foster has a $500,000 roster bonus to be paid $31,250 per game active. He has an $8.925 million salary-cap figure.

During the NFL scouting combine when asked directly if Foster was in the Texans' plans, general manager Rick Smith replied: "As it relates to all the free agent conversations, I'm never going to tell you one way or the other what we're doing, but I will tell you this: His salary is not a reason why we would cut Arian."

Smith predicted Foster would bounce back next season, but never indicated that comeback would necessarily unfold with the Texans.

Head coach Bill O'Brien was non-committal when asked about Foster's status, offering no specific comment.

"Everybody that was on the 2015 team, everybody is being evaluated, discussed," O'Brien said. "So as far as being in the plans, sure, everybody's in the plans."

Except those who it turns out really aren't. ...

Meanwhile, Foster has been cleared to jog and is hoping to play next season, which he's expressed recently to the Texans.

As the Houston Chronicle reminded readers, Foster was limited to four games this season, gaining just 163 yards and scoring one touchdown with 22 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns. He was just starting to regain his old form when he injured his Achilles against the Miami Dolphins. Foster is the Texans' all-time rushing leader with 6,472 yards and 54 touchdowns.

As's Michael David Smith suggested this morning, Foster will likely draw some interest in free agency, but that interest won't be anything like what it once would have been. It appears that Foster's best days are behind him.

Meanwhile, the Texans have a talent void at running back. The rushing attack was ineffective during his absence with a combination of Alfred Blue, Chris Polk, Jonathan Grimes and Akeem Hunt never able to deliver with the kind of consistency a healthy Foster did.

Polk is an unrestricted free agent who is unlikely to return. The versatile Grimes is a restricted free agent the Texans will likely retain with a tender.

We'll all be watching for indications of what the plan is going forward not that Foster is gone.