AFC Notes: Texans, Rivers, Tua, Bolles, Jets

Following the trade deadline, Deshaun Watson revealed how much of an issue a Will Fuller trade would have caused for him. Now, the Texans quarterback does not want Week 12 to have been his final game throwing to the deep threat. Despite Fuller’s six-game PED suspension set to drag into next year, Watson wants the Texans to bring back the impending free agent.

That’s very important,” Watson said of the Texans re-signing Fuller, via ESPN.com’s Sarah Barshop. “That’s definitely one guy that I’m going to be working on this last month and offseason, for sure. Will’s my brother. The whole organization knows that tooAnd you know, make sure that we get him back for next year, especially in this organization.”

A 2016 first-round pick, Fuller has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. He did in his contract year and was on pace to venture well into four-digit yardage territory. The 26-year-old receiver finished his shortened season with 53 receptions for 879 yards and eight touchdowns — all career-high numbers — and will be one of the top free agents in 2021. The Texans will have exclusive negotiating rights with Fuller until the legal tampering period begins in mid-March.

Here is the latest from the AFC, shifting first to Houston’s Week 13 opponent:

  • Philip Rivers has not missed a game due to injury as a pro, having made 235 straight starts since the Chargers let Drew Brees defect to the Saints in 2006. But Rivers appeared on the Colts‘ injury report this week, being reduced to a limited practice Thursday because of a toe malady. Praising Rivers’ toughness, Quenton Nelson revealed (via the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson and Jim Ayello) the 17th-year quarterback is playing through a “really bad” foot problem presently. Rivers said he has no concerns about being able to play in Week 13.
  • Also expecting to play Sunday: Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa. After Brian Flores said Tagovailoa was “very close” to being able to play against the Jets, the first-round passer expects to start this weekend against the Bengals, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald notes. Although Tua struggled in Denver and was benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick, Flores said the job is the rookie’s when he is medically cleared. Tagovailoa has been limited in both Miami practices this week.
  • Garett Bolles‘ belated breakout resulted in a big payday from the Broncos, who went from not picking up the once-embattled left tackle’s fifth-year option to signing him to a four-year, $68MM deal. That contract contains $38MM guaranteed and $21MM fully guaranteed over the first two years, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Although the $17MM-per-year figure places Bolles as the NFL’s sixth-highest-paid tackle, the full guarantee is more in line with his uneven performance through three-plus seasons. That number ranks 20th among tackles and comes in $43MM south of what the Ravens recently gave Ronnie Stanley in full guarantees.
  • More weirdness out of New York. Jets guard starter Alex Lewis did not play against the Dolphins last week, and Adam Gase said the absence was not injury-related. This may stem from a dustup between Lewis and Gase. The second-year Jets HC indicated the two had a “conversation” but stopped short of calling it a verbal altercation, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano notes (Twitter links). Gase did not confirm if Lewis will return in Week 13. A 2019 trade acquisition, Lewis signed a three-year deal to return to the Jets in March.
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14 comments on “AFC Notes: Texans, Rivers, Tua, Bolles, Jets

  1. Rocket32

    Hopefully Alex Lewis told Gase some of what every Jets fan wishes they could

      • kevin

        then ruin him like they have with countless other qbs lol. but seriously I hope he stays in school if hers get first pick due to the way the organization is atm it’s not a good place for players especially for young players. perhaps in the future their organization will get a better foundation . my team had a pretty big stretch of not being good and having a bad foundation but I’d love for my team to draft him and trade their qb when his value is even higher

        • Mr Goodkat

          I’m not sure they’ve ruined other QB’s…they’ve just over-drafted not-very-good ones.

          • Ak185

            Maybe those QBs were overdrafted, but other than Chad Pennington and O’Brian, I can’t name another quality Jets starter for the last forty years who played a large portion of their career there. Meaning, a QB that another team would trade for given the opportunity. There may be one that I’m missing, but I am inclined to agree that the Jets have not set up their starters well for success no matter how overdrafted they may be.

  2. Rhino

    Just think of the missed opportunity to improve the club. They could have traded him for literally anything and gotten more value than he will provide the club the rest of the year. With the draft looking like garbage without a 1st or 2nd ownership should have stepped in and attempted to build this team for the future. Unless they are extremely active in free agency the Texans will be a sub .500 team in 2021 as well.

    • Ak185

      I agree with your argument entirely Rhino. I do want to point out though that overactivity in the offseason is what got them into this mess in the first place.

      Not refuting your point, of course, which is correct. They need to get the right headman in there first, and soon, because some of those extra picks are coming this year. Just want to add that, and much more importantly, make a joke at O’Brien’s expense.

  3. saluelthpops

    I wonder if Watson is as pissed at Fuller for screwing his teammates as he would have been at ownership had they traded him.

  4. saluelthpops

    Is Watson as upset at Fuller as he would be at ownership had they traded him? The results are the same, right? Fuller’s selfish act should have his teammates livid.

    • crosseyedlemon

      What makes Watson think he is an expert consultant on NFL personnel matters? Is he drawing on some FO experience he has kept secret from everyone? I think the Texans executives are going to get tired of listening to him the same way the Packers got fed up with Rodgers trying to tell them how to do their jobs.

      • saluelthpops

        Exactly. Do something meaningful for the team and perhaps you’ll have more clout. Putting up numbers for an 8-8 team every year is no justification for getting to dictate what ownership does. Win something meaningful and you get a say.

        • Ak185

          Agreed, but to be fair, Watson is also the only thing that this team has today that they will have two years from now. McNair values his opinion enough to discuss the team’s future with him over dinner. I agree, he’s a player and not an executive, but I don’t think that he’s gotten too demanding as of yet. You’re right in that he does have to keep perspective of what his job and role is in the organization. But he hasn’t gotten out of line necessarily in my opinion just yet, even if I would personally think that opinions like that are better kept in house than in the media.

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