Texans Unlikely To Retain Will Fuller

Texans wideout Will Fuller will miss Week 1 of the 2021 regular season thanks to the six-game PED suspension he was handed in November, but he is still one of the more intriguing receivers set for unrestricted free agency in March. That is especially true since players like Kenny Golladay and Chris Godwin are looking increasingly likely to remain with their current clubs, which pushes Fuller higher up the wish-list for receiver-needy teams.

And as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes, it sounds as if Fuller will indeed hit the open market. Fuller and QB Deshaun Watson enjoy a close friendship, and considering Watson’s relationship with the team at the moment, Wilson says Fuller will not be back in Houston unless he is hit with the franchise tag (a reconciliation between the Texans and Watson could change that, but the situation appears unsalvageable). However, multiple league sources say they do not expect Houston to use the tag on Fuller, even though the club would like to have him back.

After all, the Texans are just $3.9MM under the cap at the moment, and while restructures and releasing players like RB David Johnson will give them some additional space, it might not be enough to carry Fuller on a ~$16MM franchise tag. Instead, the team might continue to roll with Brandin Cooks — who flourished during Fuller’s suspension — along with Randall Cobb and younger players Keke Coutee and Chad Hansen.

Spotrac indicates that Fuller is in line for a four-year contract worth $67.8MM, which seems about right. The $16.9MM average would put Fuller in the top-10 of the WR market, and though he has struggled with injuries throughout his pro career, he was finally on track to play a full 16-game season for the first time before he was suspended (for what it’s worth, he said he violated the league’s PED policy only because he took medication that the prescribing physician believed to be approved by the NFL).

His speed and explosiveness would be an asset to most any receiving corps, so while the injury history is a concern, he should not be lacking for suitors. Last season, he was on pace for nearly 1,300 receiving yards and double-digit TDs. His 16.6 yard-per-reception average was a career-high and is reflective of his big-play ability.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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17 comments on “Texans Unlikely To Retain Will Fuller

  1. Hard to imagine Fuller getting too 10 WR money. He’s shown he’s talented but between the injury history and PED suspension if I’m a GM I’d pay Robinson or Godwin in this FA class over him

    • Rory Parks

      True, but Godwin isn’t going to hit the market, and even though Robinson doesn’t want to be with the Bears, it’s hard to imagine Chicago not putting the tag on him. JuJu and Fuller will likely be the best WRs available.

  2. despicable_you

    Fuller only played this season without getting injured bed of the ped

  3. sportznut1000

    Seeing the line “releasing players like David Johnson” is just so cringe worthy. bill o’brien should be banned from football for that trade

  4. bravesfan88

    Would love to see the 49ers take a chance on Fuller. Well, as long as he isn’t asking for some unrealistic amount of money, then I’d want them to target Fuller as their deep guy.

    If he is finally healthy, they can use Hurd as their big slot guy and their #4, and they can also take a shot signing Isaiah McKenzie. McKenzie can battle it out with James to be their smaller slot receiver, and they can also compete to be the kick and lint returners.

    With Kittle, Deebo, Aiyuk, Fuller, Hurd, McKenzie, James, Jennings (or later round draft prospect), and then having Juice (resigned), Mostert, Wilson, and Hasty (or a later round draft prospect) coming out of the backfield, Shanahan should have PLENTY enough weapons to scheme guys free and easy enough for Jimmy G to have a very solid season.

    However, in order for longer plays to develop down the field, and to maximize a guy like Fuller’s potential, without Jimmy G getting sacked and having the pocket collapse on him, they’re also going to have to resign Trent Williams, and then they’re going to have to find a new Center. I don’t know the exact number, but I do know the 49ers ended up starting about four or five different Centers last season. The Center position is CRUCIAL to Shanahan’s zone based running scheme, and he’s also crucial making the calls at the LOS.

    SOO, with all of that being said, they should pickup and sign veteran Alex Mack. With Williams back on board, Tomlinson at LG, Mack at Center, and McGlinchy at RT it should really fortify the 49ers OLine enough to where they can become a force to be reckoned with. Even their deadly running game was held up due to their awful line last season, and Jimmy was often just forced to get rid of the ball too soon and pressured way too often.

    All of those moves will allow Brunskill to FINALLY be able to solely focus on one position, and that should be the starting RG spot. If the 49ers aren’t sure about Brunskill nor McKivitz starting at RG, then they can pickup a vet in free agency, or they can look to the draft to pickup a prospect like Ben Cleveland later on in the 4th round or so.

    By solidifying their OLine, it should make a world of difference for Jimmy G, Mostert, and potentially itll allow their targets enough time to run deeper routes to create more explosive down the field plays!! Which that aspect of their offense was dearly missing last season!!

    Can’t wait for the upcoming season to see how Lynch and Shanahan approach free agency and the draft, and how they ultimately decide to improve the 49ers roster. Mark my words, they are both coming to attack this offseason, and they’re heading into the 2021 season with a vengeance and passion unknown to mankind!!! lol haha

  5. Alberto Trumpo

    It would probably be best to do a bit of trading with Green Bay. We could let go of Watson so much more easily, if we trade for Rodgers, and say a couple of their young and up and coming receivers or Jordan Love. Green Bay and the Texans would both benefit, with little to no dropoff. Send Watson and Fuller for Rodgers, and whatever else we need. Easy !

  6. Alberto Trumpo

    It would probably be best to do a bit of trading with Green Bay. We could let go of Watson so much more easily, if we trade for Rodgers, and say a couple of their young and up and coming receivers or Jordan Love. Send Watson and Fuller for Rodgers, and whatever else we need. Easy !

    • I Beg To Differ

      Packers fan? Cause that’s a horrible trade for the Texans.

      Guys like Rodgers and Wilson aren’t as valuable to the Texans as they are to other teams with superbowl aspirations. Texans are clearly a team in need of a rebuild that need cap room and draft picks. Wilson and Rodgers also won’t help them tank for the 2022 draft, plus acquiring Wilson/Rodgers takes away from draft picks and cap room.

      Jets have #2, Dolphins have #3, Panthers #8.

      Packers want Watson theyll first have to ship Rodgers elsewhere for draft picks. Maybe Carolina?

      Then include Love, at least 3 or 4 1st rounders cause those will be late 20s possibly 30 31 or 32 1st rounders, and other draft assets. Texans can send Cooks to pair with Adams for more draft capital.

      Fuller is a free agent and doubt he gets tagged. He could but doubt he does.

  7. Alberto Trumpo

    It would probably be best to do a bit of trading with G.B. Could let go of Watson so easily, if trade for Rodgers, and say a couple of their young and up and coming receivers or Jordan Love. Send Watson and Fuller for Rodgers, and whatever else we need.

  8. phillyballers

    If he needs the juice, better off going elsewhere. No telling how long hes bee on it.

    Should have been posting way better #s with Winston as his QB. WR 2 or WR 3 looking for WR 1 money.

    • I Beg To Differ

      Injuries and playing with DeAndre Hopkins kept his numbers low.

      He has the talent and ability to be a #1. But health has always been an issue.

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