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Glenn allowed to seek trade before being released

It appears that the Houston Texans tenure of three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Aaron Glenn, the third veteran brought aboard by the fledgling franchise in the 2002 expansion draft, is about to end.

Glenn and agent Jimmy Sexton have been granted permission by Texans officials to seek trade opportunities with a limited number of other teams, ESPN.com has learned. But if potential trade partners are not quickly identified, Glenn almost certainly will be released, possibly as early as Tuesday.

Among the franchises with whom Glenn is permitted to speak are believed to be the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys. It is not known how ardent teams will be in pursuit of Glenn in a trade, since he will be jettisoned if a deal is not struck, and would then be available as a free agent.

The 11-year veteran, one of the NFL's top coverage defenders for much of his career, became expendable last week when the Texans acquired three-year veteran cornerback and former first-round draft choice Phillip Buchanon from the Oakland Raiders. The acquisition of Buchanon, who figures to team with second-year standout Dunta Robinson in the starting lineup, provides the Texans two young cornerbacks.

Robinson was one of the NFL's top defensive rookies in 2004.

In addition, Demarcus Faggins developed for the Texans into a solid nickel cornerback in 2004 and was recently rewarded with a new contract. Houston also signed unrestricted free agent corner Lewis Sanders several weeks ago.

Beyond the suddenly crowded secondary, finances could be a factor in Glenn's departure, since he has three seasons remaining on his contract and is due base salaries of $4 million (2005), $4.25 million (2006) and $5.5 million (2007).

Glenn, 32, remains a viable starter even after 11 seasons in the league and, at worst, could be a tremendous No. 3 cornerback for some other club. In 2004, he started all 16 games and posted 63 tackles, five interceptions and 14 passes defensed.

The former Texas A&M star has 35 career interceptions and 142 passes defensed, and is among the NFL leaders in both categories among active players. Glenn has at least one interception in every season but his 1994 rookie campaign. He recorded five interceptions in three of the last four seasons. Were it not for his suspect hands, Glenn, who has scored five times on interception returns, would probably have close to 50 career pickoffs.

Selected by the New York Jets in the first round in 1994, Glenn moved into the starting lineup as a rookie and has started in all but one of his 164 regular-season appearances. He moved to the Texans in the veteran draft to help stock the expansion franchise in 2002. His career statistics also include 586 tackles.

Glenn was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click hereInsider.