The Texans are cutting former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Kingsley Keke after drafting Stanford defensive lineman Thomas Booker in the fifth round, according to a league source.
Keke was due a $2.54 million base salary after triggering his playtime escalator with the Packers.
A George Ranch graduate and former Texas A&M standout drafted in the fifth round by Green Bay, Keke was cut by the Packers and then claimed off waivers by the Texans.
Keke was released by Green Bay following a disagreement with the Packers' coaching staff, including coach Matt LaFleur, about his practice role after dealing with concussion and COVID-19, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
Being cut by the Texans was strictly a matter of numbers due to his salary and the arrival of other players, per a source.
A Richmond native, Keke had 20 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks and one forced fumble this season. For his career, he has 47 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks and two forced fumbles. He was a healthy scratch for one game against the Cleveland Browns for personal reason, according to LaFleur.
Keke sacked Drew Brees twice in 2020 in a win over the New Orleans Saints. He had two sacks against Carson Wentz in 2020 in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Keke was a finalist for the Greater Houston Lombardi award as a senior at George Ranch. He recorded 60 tackles, 10 for losses, five sacks and blocked two kicks. He was an all-state selection and four-star recruit who had 158 career tackles, 19 sacks and 39 tackles for losses.
For the Aggies, Keke had 150 career tackles, 21 tackles for losses and a dozen sacks.
At the NFL scouting combine, Keke ran the 40-yard dash in 4.95 seconds.
Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and analyst and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.