Does the release of Eric Winston mean Luke Joeckel will be the top draft pick? (Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs released right tackle Eric Winston on Wednesday afternoon, touching off speculation about where the lineman might land.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, were two of the first teams to reach out to agent Drew Rosenhaus about Winston. The Texans took Winston in the third round of the 2006 draft; he could help stabilize the Eagles’ offensive line, with Todd Herremans moving back to guard.

Winston, as he noted on Twitter, went through a difficult season in Kansas City, with teammate Jovan Belcher involved in a murder-suicide. Winston found himself in the spotlight when he ripped fans for cheering quarterback Matt Cassel’s injury (which might not making Philadelphia the ideal landing spot for him).

Winston tweeted the news Wednesday night: “Just wanted to confirm that I have been released. Even though it was an incredibly tough year on and off the field last year, I wouldn’t (t)rade the relationships I made in KC and the overall experience I had for anything. It was an honor to be a Chief and I wish them nothing but the best in the future… On to the next adventure!”

Former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli signed Winston to a four-year, $22-million free-agent deal last year and was due to earn $4.9 million in 2013 and count $6.5 million against the salary cap.

KC now has the flexibility to perhaps take Luke Joeckel with the first pick in next month’s NFL draft and move him or Branden Albert to the right side.

Where’s the best spot for Winston, keeping in mind that cash-strapped teams like the Washington Redskins may be priced out of the running?

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