During the press conference held Saturday, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis took the opportunity to speak about Walter, saying "Kevin has been a fine player for us, and he deserves the opportunity he'll get in Houston to be a starting receiver," Lewis said. "But as we build our roster for the upcoming season, we believe it's in the best interest of our team to allocate these funds to another position."
According to a statement released by the Bengals, the team had tendered Walter an offer at his "draft status" level, requiring any other team signing him to compensate Cincinnati with a draft pick in the same round in which Walter entered the NFL. Walter was a seventh-round draft choice of the N.Y. Giants in 2003, and the Bengals will receive Houston's seventh-round choice in next month's draft.
The Texans offered Walter a four year deal worth $6.4 million. Additionally, Walter will receive a $2 million dollar signing bonus for joining the Texans.
It is expected that Walter will join his new team in Houston on Tuesday, March 21, a day after the Texans begin their off-season training program.
Walter will be a welcome addition to the Texans, who have already lost two wide receivers to free agency. Jabar Gaffney has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and Corey Bradford has signed with the Detroit Lions.
It was reported in the Houston Chronicle on Sunday that Texans general manager Charlie Casserly said that "The reason we targeted him on the first day of free agency was because we thought he was a good young talent."
Walter has three years of NFL experience, all with the Cincinnati Bengals. During his career total 43 games, Walter has totaled 30 receptions for 296 yards and one touchdown.
Walter attended college at Eastern Michigan before being drafted in 2003. Originally on the practice squad for the Bengals, Walter was given an opportunity to suit up on the field and play 11 games during his first season to replace Lawrence Hamilton after Hamilton failed to catch a pass during the Bengals first five games. That season, Walter managed to bring down a total of three receptions. Since that time, Walter was being brought into plays more and more during his next few season with the Bengals.
The Texans were also interested in another wide receiver in the Viking's Nate Burleson, but it is reported that the Texans are backing off and have cancelled a visit with Burleson that was set for this week. If the Texans had signed Burleson they would have lost yet another draft pick in the upcoming draft.