Cushing has spent nine seasons with the Texans and would leave as the franchise leader in tackles with 664. The move would free up $7.64 million of salary cap space in 2018, according to the Chronicle.
"It's all good. It's part of the business," Cushing said in a text message to the Chronicle.
If Cushing remained with the Texans, he was scheduled to make $7.25 million in base compensation next season. The Texans are expected to use the extra money to actively pursue help on the offensive line and in the defensive backfield.
The 31-year-old Cushing served a 10-game suspension last season for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. After missing another game, he returned to start the final four games of the season.
The 2009 first-round draft pick is considered expendable because the Texans have second-year linebackers Zach Cunningham and Dylan Cole.
Cushing was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 and followed that by being voted into the Pro Bowl in 2010. He has been a starter since he was drafted out of Southern California.
Knee injuries derailed the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but he came back and missed only five starts because of injuries in the following three seasons.