King’s release is a surprise because he started every preseason game and ran with the first-team defense for most of training camp. He started 25 games over the past two seasons.
Kirksey was a team captain for the Texans in 2022 and was third in tackles (124). He also was the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.
He missed most of training camp with a strained hamstring, and the release will save the Texans $5.2 million.
Kirksey landed in Houston in 2021 on a one-year, $4.5 million contract following one season with the Green Bay Packers. He started 29 games over two seasons with the Texans and had 217 tackles and 13 tackles for loss. He signed a two-year $10 million extension in 2022.
KPRC first reported the news of King’s release while NFL Network first reported the news of the Kirksey move.