Whitney Mercilus posts farewell message to Texans

The pass rusher is second in sacks on the Texans' all-time list

Photo of Matt Young
Houston Texans' Whitney Mercilus (59) and Vernon Hargreaves III (26) warm up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)
Houston Texans' Whitney Mercilus (59) and Vernon Hargreaves III (26) warm up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)Justin Rex/Associated Press

As his role in the defense continued to dwindle, Whitney Mercilus was released by the Texans.

Mercilus was transitioning from an outside linebacker in the Texans' old 3-4 scheme into a defensive end in Lovie Smith's 4-3. After starting the first two games of the season, Mercilus was beat out by second-year player Jonathan Greenard, who has four sacks in four games.

The 10-year veteran's four-year, $54 million contract included voidable years for 2022 and 2023, so Mercilus was going to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

On Monday night, Mercilus posted a farewell message to Instagram:

"It was 10 years ago I received the call that would forever change my life. The Houston Texans organization welcomed me with open arms and the City of Houston became home.

"To the McNair family ... Thank you for believing in a kid from Akron, Ohio.

"To my teammates who have become my brothers for life ... Thank you for the talks, thank you for having my back on the field and thank you for always coming through for my work in the community.

"Texans fans ... You have been amazing! We’ve been together through both exciting and challenging times, and I'll always admire the heart and perseverance of the Houston community. No matter what, you've always showed up and supported me on and off the field.

"God always has a plan, so now I await what’s ahead…Rock Boy out!"

The 31-year-old Mercilus, who was the Texans' first-round pick in 2012, was the longest tenured Texans player still on the roster besides long snapper Jon Weeks. Mercilus' 57 career sacks ranks second behind J.J. Watt on the Texans' all-time list. His 72 tackles for a loss and 115 quarterback hits also rank second in franchise history behind Watt.

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