The Texans are releasing veteran cornerback Shaq Griffin, according to a league source.
The move comes as a surprise considering that Griffin had played well once he became a starter.
Griffin was starting until former first-round draft pick Derek Stingley Jr. was activated from injured reserve. Griffin has played sparingly the past few games, playing on special teams while Stingley has two interceptions.
Griffin has started six of 10 games and has 33 tackles and four passes defensed. He intercepted quarterback Joe Burrow in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Griffin, signed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract by the Texans this offseason after being cut by the Jaguars while still recovering from back surgery, was a 2019 Pro Bowl selection with the Seattle Seahawks who was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars in March after signing a three-year, $44.5 million contract in 2021, Griffin was signed to a deal that included $3 million guaranteed this offseason.
Griffin has 360 career tackles, seven interceptions and 63 passes defensed.
When Griffin got hurt last season in training camp, he only lasted five games and five starts before he was placed on injured reserve. Griffin attempted to play through the injury, but it didn’t last. Ultimately, it took a long time to get healthy. One NFL general manager told KPRC 2 that he wouldn’t have signed Griffin to the contract the Texans did because of the back injury. Texans general manager Nick Caserio took a chance on Griffin as a relatively expensive insurance policy behind Stingley and Nelson.
Griffin is a 6-foot, 198-pound former Seahawks third-round draft pick from Central Florida whose brother, Shaquem, played with him in Seattle.
“Shaq has done a good job for us, obviously from when we brought him in,” Texans defensive coordinator Matt Burke said earlier this season. “He’s a veteran corner, he’s played a lot of ball. He’s a physical corner. I would say he’s one of our better tacklers at the edge. He’s shown that in preseason games and as we’ve gone through the weeks here. I feel good about what he’s done and where his growth has been for us.”
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.