OUT THE DOOR

Texans to part ways with Brian Cushing

Brian Cushing is on his way out. Tim Warner/Getty Images

Brian Cushing, the 2009 first round pick, has been told that he will be released before the start of the league year on March 14. A lot of people are saying about it’s about time. He hasn’t been the same since the knee injuries and his veteran presence is not worth it anymore. Every team and player in the league knows it is a game of replacement and the Texans finally have the talent to send Cushing on his way with a half-hearted thanks for playing.

Cushing is coming off a disappointing season in which he was suspended 10 games for a PED violation. That was probably the final nail in a coffin that was already being boarded up after a down year in 2016. His contract was worth $8.84 million this year and the savings will be $7.64 million against the cap. That’s a very useful amount for a team that has a lot of holes to be patched.

I really like this move. The Texans will now have over $60 million in cap space headed into free agency and without the early round draft picks they will be going after as many of the big names as they can. I have to think they’ve learned a valuable lesson from last offseason when they sat on their hands while the best offensive linemen and secondary players signed elsewhere.

If this is how the new front office is going to play it, then things might be looking up in Houston. They have the quarterback and receiver combo and some big time players on the defensive front seven. All they have to do is infuse some of the top talent in free agency and they could find their way right back in the  mix for a playoff spot in 2018.

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Upton and Verlander are headed to the Big Apple. Photo by Elsa/ Getty Images.

News erupted on a relatively quiet Monday, December 5 that Houston Astros superstar ace and Cy Young Award-winnerJustin Verlander inked a deal with the New York Mets.

According to the New York Post, Verlander, a free agent, agreed to a two-year, $86 million deal with the Mets, with a vesting, third-year option for $35 million. While that's huge news in the world of pro baseball, Verlander's superstar model wife Kate Upton has been also trending on Twitter.

No surprise there, as cover girl and fashion influencer Upton boasts more than 6 million followers on Instagram alone and one of the most followed models on the globe. But it's not a cover shot or sizzling bikini pic making the rounds, but rather, a video of the supermodel shooting the bird to Philadelphia Phillies fans.

Upton, an oft-smiling mom and wife, had no problem backing down from Philly Fan with a double-barreled, middle finger salute. While the audio is hard to decipher, we're guessing Upton didn't edit her smack talk in the dubious City of Brotherly Love.

Plenty of local talk (if one is interested in that sort of thing) points to the Mets being the team for "real" NYC baseball fans, while Yankees fans are said to be band-wagoning, late to games, and full of corporate partners. It's also good optics that Verlander didn't bolt for the team that the Astros dispatched in a four-game sweep on the way to their second World Series title.

Houston fans will no doubt miss Upton, who wed Verlander, gave birth to darling daughter Genevieve, and essentially broke the internet when she donned a retro Astros jacket — making it an instant sellout — all while here in the Bayou City. As transplants from there regularly point out, Houston is notoriously friendlier than the Big Apple.

But, something tells Upton, who has proven that she's not afraid to go publicly potty-mouthed in defense of JV, will have zero problem handling any mouthy NYC fans.

Upton clearly gives zero bleeps when defending her man. Kate Upton/Twitter

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