The Houston Texans are cutting ties with another veteran starter.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday that the Texans are releasing linebacker Zach Cunningham, per a source informed of the decision. The team later confirmed the move.
Cunningham is subject to waivers. He started seven of 10 games played, compiling 67 tackles, second-most on the team. The 27-year-old was inactive in Week 13 after being late for a COVID-19 test and was disciplined by the team a few times this year, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo added.
"We have standards," coach David Culley said. "I didn't feel like those standards were being met consistently. It wasn't tough at all (to waive Cunningham). It's about the team. It's not about one individual player."
The linebacker led the NFL with 164 combined tackles in 2020.
Cunningham inked a four-year contract extension with Houston in 2020 worth $58 million. The Texans restructured his deal this season, dropping his base salary in 2021 to $990,000, so he could be a claim target on the waiver wire. The Texans will be left with a $12.83 million cap hit in 2022.
Releasing Cunningham continues the Texans shedding veteran players from the previous regime in a full-on rebuild in Houston.