Houston Will Miss Chris Myers
Photo by Max Burkhalter
For years, Texan fans seethed over the perception that Gary Kubiak was overly loyal to players. He was afraid to cut "his guys," many of whom he'd happily doled out extensions for sometime in the recent past.
Real or imagined (and honestly, like most things in life, the truth was probably somewhere in between), Texan fans believed this dynamic existed, so when they had to endure more bad seasons than good, there was a frustration level over why the Texans weren't conducting business like a "real NFL team."
Why can't they be more like the Patriots??? That was the lament. Well, you're getting your wish now, Texan fan. It's clear who's running the show at NRG Stadium, and there are no scraps in Bill O'Brien's scrapbook.
To wit, 24 hours after telling Andre Johnson he can seek a trade, now center Chris Myers is gone, released on Wednesday afternoon after his seventh season with the Texans.
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Myers arrived in Houston from Denver in a trade for a sixth round draft choice before the 2008 season. It would wind up being one of Rick Smith's and Gary Kubiak's best moves as a duo, as Myers would start all of the 112 games he played as a Texan and currently carries the league's longest active streaks for games played by an offensive lineman (153) and consecutive starts at center (128).
The Texans release of Myers opens up another $6 million in salary cap space for the Texans, who are now approaching around $30 million in total cap space on the cusp of free agency beginning over the weekend. While the cap space unto itself is an exciting wrinkle in the last two days' fallout, the release of Myers sends the offensive line into a state of churn.
Presumably, this means Ben Jones moves over to his more natural center position and second year guard Xaiver Su'a-Filo moves into the starting lineup at left guard.
Upon getting the news today, Myers initial emotion was actually thankfulness.
"Apprehensiveness and gratitude just from the seven years that I was just able to be a part of the Houston Texans." Myers said on my radio show on SportsRadio 610. "Houston has been able to change my life and my wife's life tremendously, professionally and personally.
"With Mr. McNair and his wife Janice kind of opening the doors to us and seeing how the organization is run on a first class level. It just trickles down hill, from the character of the guys, to the fans to how everything is so supportive in the community. It is just all around a phenomenal experience."
Before he had a chance to notify his teammates of the news, Myers was actually met at the stadium this afternoon by his longest tenured teammate (not named Andre Johnson), fellow offensive lineman Duane Brown. Brown has never played a game in the NFL in which Myers hasn't been playing two spots down from him on the offensive line.
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Chris Myers and Duane Brown at the start of last season
Photo by Max Burkhalter
"Those are the kind of things that you are going to truly truly miss," Myers said. "But you understand the business part. When you play long enough you see this happen ever single year. And I think if you are able to understand it and be accepting of that process when it is your time it is a lot easier."
The most likely landing spot now for Myers would appear to be right back where he started, in Denver playing for the Broncos, only this time it would be for his head coach for a majority of his Houston tenure, Gary Kubiak. (Worlds are colliding!!) Kubiak is in the process of installing his offensive playbook, which conveniently calls for a smart, light, agile center. Myers is leaving all his options open for now.
"I'm interested in any situation that is going to be able to kind of help my family and what we're looking for right now. The interest of my kids and my wife are going to be my main concern for me," Myers said. "For one, I do want to play ball. I feel like i have a lot left in me. I've been able to take care of my body in a way to extend my career as long as I need to.
"Kubiak has his thing going on up there, and i'm very familiar with his system but there are plenty of things I want to see where my options are."
In his seven years in Houston, there may be no player more active in the community than Chris Myers. Inspired by his young son Keane, Myers' work with Operation Smile, providing children around the world with surgeries for cleft lips and cleft palates, is well documented, as is his support of charities like Blue Cure for prostate cancer awareness.
Myers was also the driving force behind the "DQ Strong" t-shirt campaign this past summer that raised $100,000 to help fight lymphoma in honor of his cancer stricken teammate, David Quessenberry.
That's who Myers is. I could go on and on about him, so I will.
Last November, our station was dedicating the afternoon drive hours one day to a campaign to raise money for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Myers was in his car listening (something the self-proclaimed "talk radio junkie" does every day), texted me and asked what the charity was, proceeded to look up more info about it on his cell phone, and promptly texted back that he was donating $2,500.
Myers was also happy to pitch in when our station was raising money this past November to help build Hope Lodge Houston, a place where families of cancer patients being treated in the Medical Center will be able to stay for free someday. As one of our auction items, Myers happily volunteered to go to dinner with multiple listeners. It was one of the highest ticket items that sold during the campaign.
"I'm super appreciative for the city, the fans. The fans are unreal. For all the things the guys have going on in the community all their different organizations and foundations and fundraising. I've never seen anyone jump on board like Houston Texans fans. They're second to none, that's for sure."
The city will, no doubt, miss Chris Myers the father, husband, and citizen, as much as they miss Chris Myers the football player.
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