HOUSTON - If fans aren't certain that the Houston Texans will be a new team next season, Friday should be a great indicator of the plans moving forward. Another player signed under Bill O'Brien's tenure will now be looking for a new team in 2021. 

This time, it's in the trenches. 

The Texans are releasing center Nick Martin according to league sources, with the release was first reported by The Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson. Martin, who signed a three-year, $33 million contract extension with Houston in 2019, had a potential out this offseason. 

Martin was worth an $8.75 million salary-cap figure. Houston will take a $2.5 million cap hit this offseason but will save $6.25 overall. 

Drafted out of Notre Dame in the second round back in 2016, Martin started 62 games for Houston, playing in all 16 the final three seasons of his career. The Texans' offensive line however struggled to protect franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson from being one of the more sacked quarterbacks in the NFL. 

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Houston finished with a 4-12 record last season following an 0-4 start and the firing of Bill O'Brien. The Texans' line allowed Watson to be sacked 50 times in 2020. 

However, they did protect him enough to lead the NFL in passing yards (4,823) and reset the franchise record in passing touchdowns with 33 scores. 

Martin was, in our opinion, sometimes a liability up the middle. A smart IQ player regarding blitzes, the production never matched the intellect. In four years, he never received a grade from Pro Football Focus higher than a 65.5. 

Last season, he scored a career-worst 56.1. 

The Texans' trenches were already in need of a tune-up. They now will need a new name to deliver snaps to the quarterback found in NRG Stadium next season. Names like Alabama's Landon Dickerson and Oklahoma's Creed Humphrey should be on the shortlist for an early selection in the third round. 

Houston recently released running back Duke Johnson and offensive lineman Senio Kelemete this week. Earlier this month, the team parted way with its former face of the franchise and All-Pro defensive end, J.J. Watt.

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