Originally Posted by ChampionTexan
I would imagine there's negotiations going on behind the scenes - or will be shortly. Other than street free agents (guys who weren't under contract at the end of the 2012 season, or have been released since then), negotiations can't begin with free agents until March 9th, and no signings can take place before March 12th. The 12th is also the date by which teams have to be at or under the cap, so there's time. Last year, Winston was released on March 13 (Just before the cap had to be complied with), and they waited until May 1 to let Jacoby go.
Regarding the restructures, (contract modifications reducing the current year salary cap hit, but having no negative financial impact to the player) you typically don't want to do these unless you have to. These type of restructures help out the current year, but come at a cost in future years, so generally you put the groundwork in place, but don't actually pull the trigger unless/until there's a specific reason to. Also (and this is only going from memory), the Texans have never really announced restructures, but it seems like the info regarding who restructured trickles out at some point down the road.
As far as releases and reductions in salary, there's no reason not to go ahead and do those, but unless you're over the cap (which it doesn't appear the Texans are), there's no reason to do them now other than to give the player the benefit of an early start on free agency. Also, there may be a strategic advantage to waiting until the last minute (perhaps even the final cut of the 2013 preseason) to tell the player to take a pay cut or be waived. The fewer options they have, the more likely they may be to accept a cut.
“Not necessarily started the negotiations,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said Saturday, before he was honored at the Charlie Ward Tribute to Excellence event. “Obviously we’re in touch with all the agents and those guys know our intent is that we want to keep the players that are free agents. Those conversations will continue in Indianapolis and will continue after the combine as well.”
To clear up some cap space, you could see extensions to players like defensive end Antonio Smith or inside linebacker Brian Cushing, both of whom have contracts that expire after the 2013 season.
With the pushed back league year, these negotiations often start at the NFL Scouting Combine, a place where agents and general managers convene for a few days and can easily meet face-to-face.
per the article