Houston Texans keep cutting salary cap; release Nick Martin

Nick Martin, Houston Texans

Houston Texans center Nick Martin (66) Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

There will be another new member on the offense of the Houston Texans in 2021 as the franchise released starting center Nick Martin this past week, in another move to clear even more space from the salary cap.

The release of Nick Martin means the Houston Texans have saved $6.25 million in cap space with the move for the 2021 season according to spotrac.com. Two seasons ago, Martin signed a three-year, $33 million contract extension with the Texans.

Martin was originally a second round pick in 2016 by the Texans, as the 50th overall selection of the 2016 NFL Draft was given a contract of four years for $4.4774 million as a rookie. Martin had until the end of the 2022 season left on his current contract before being released. The dead cap hit for the Texans is $2.5 million.

Martin played in 62 regular season games for the Houston Texans, making 14 starts in 2017, and then 16 starts in each of the past three seasons. Martin while with the Texans also had one fumble recovery in 2018.

Nick Martin didn’t have best PFF grades while with Houston Texans

In 2020, Nick Martin played in 980 offensive snaps were he had four penalties and allowed one sack. Martin’s grade by Pro Football Focus for 2020 was 56.1 (out of 100), and of his 980 snaps played, 291 of those snaps were run block snaps. Martin has never been graded at or above 66.0 by PFF during his career.

The now former center of the Houston Texans played in 1020 snaps in 2019, and preceding the ’19 season were snap played totals of 1094 (2018), 971 (2017), and zero as a rookie in 2016 due to injury.

Also during his time with the Houston Texans, Nick Martin played in 97 special teams snaps, with the most special teams play being in 2018 where he had 63 snaps with that unit.

Martin also during his time in Houston made 62 starts, and totaled 12 penalties in four seasons on the field. Those penalties included two false starts, eight holding penalties and three penalties being either declined or offset.

The Houston Texans originally gained the 50th overall pick to select Nick Martin with a trade in 2016 when the Texans traded their second round pick that year (52nd overall) and the ’16 sixth round pick to the Atlanta Falcons to move up two spots.

The new regime of the Houston Texans has started off this offseason with major salary cap cuts that have included running back Duke Johnson and defensive end J.J. Watt to name two of the most recent cap cuts, though Watt asked for his release.

One player currently on the Texans roster who could replace Nick Martin at center is guard Zach Fulton as he has experience at the position, and is one of the more versatile offensive linemen currently on the roster of the Houston Texans.

Martin’s time with the Texans is now complete, but there is no doubt he’ll be on an NFL roster in the near future as it will be a win-win situation for the Texans as the restructure of their roster is in the midst of many changes before the 2021 season begins, and for Martin who enters the 2021 season with a fresh start.