Texans owner Bob McNair said the combination of salary cap limitations as well as a plan to retain several key players in the future explains most of the club's moves this season, including the shedding of a couple of established veterans.
Beyond losing Mario Williams to the Buffalo Bills, the Texans traded linebacker DeMeco Ryans and cut tackle Eric Winston. Guard Mike Brisiel signed with the Raiders.
"We were making moves now that put us in the position to be able to go ahead and re-sign Connor Barwin, Duane Brown and Matt Schaub for next year," McNair said. "If we didn't take that action now, the same kind of problems we had this year we would be facing next year. It was just part of our overall plan to make the moves that we did and it worked out pretty much the way we expected."
McNair said as painful as the decisions were to let go of Winston and Ryans, it came down to the math of the salary cap and alleviating future cap issues.