The Texans released wide receiver Jacoby Jones on Tuesday.
The move came days after the Texans selected wide receivers from Ohio State and Michigan State in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, of the 2012 NFL Draft. Jones was rumored to be on the trading block during the draft.
“We’ve added a couple of receivers to our team,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday in his office at Reliant Stadium. “We’ve got a couple of kids that we think a lot of, being number one, and then also a lot of it’s about doing right Jacoby – our football team but doing right by him, too. [General manager] Rick [Smith] and I talked about it, and he’s handled himself with class.”
Jones, 27, started a career-high 10 games in 2011 with hobbled by hamstring injuries. He caught 31 passes for 512 yards (16.5 average) and two touchdowns, and he averaged 10.6 yards per punt return with a touchdown.
Jones was a scapegoat for many fans in Houston after fumbling a punt near the goal line in the Texans’ Divisional Round playoff loss at Baltimore.
“I think there’s way too much made out of that,” Kubiak said. “Andre missed 10 games last year and Jacoby was a starter in his absence and made a lot of plays for us, and Jacoby made a lot of special teams plays. We had many opportunities to win in Baltimore, and in this business, not one guy loses the game, not one guy wins the game. But it’s just a collective decision on where we’re heading with our young receivers, and also I feel like being very fair to Jacoby. That’s all this is about.”
A third-round draft pick out of Lane College in 2007, Jones started in 21 games in five seasons with the Texans. He had 127 catches for 1,741 yards (13.7 average) and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 10.2 yards on punt returns and 23.3 yards on kickoff returns and set a team record with four returns (three punt, one kickoff) for touchdowns.
Jones was plagued by fumbles on punt returns in his first three seasons and was in 2009. Kubiak kept Jones off the trip after he missed a Saturday morning team meeting, and the Texans wound up losing the game 23-18.
“We had a few rough patches early in his career with me, but he’s really grown up and done a good job,” Kubiak said. “To me, he’s been excellent the last couple of years. Played very well for us in Andre’s absence.
“We’ll move forward with our young players at receiver, and it’s a fair opportunity for Jacoby to go out there and get a fresh start somewhere else, and I’m sure he’ll go out and go a great job. I appreciate everything he did. Visited with him today, I wished him all the best and thanked him for everything he did for us.”