Although the Texans’ Case Keenum signing appeared to place Davis Mills in limbo, the two-year starter took first-team reps this offseason and landed on Houston’s 53-man roster. With the team moving to C.J. Stroud for Week 1, interest in both backups has emerged.
Teams have contacted the Texans on their two backup quarterbacks, Dianna Russini of The Athletic notes. But Houston’s plan for now is to keep both Keenum and Mills on its roster. The Texans gave Keenum a two-year, $6.25MM deal; two years remain on Mills’ rookie contract.
The Keenum addition undoubtedly led to the Mills trade rumors earlier this year, but the Texans’ stance at that point was to retain the former third-round pick. Stroud will unseat Mills, who is 5-19-1 as a starter (albeit on some undermanned teams), and Keenum would seem to represent both a mentor and a capable backup. Mills, 24, would be an interesting flier for a team to take. Even if the Texans are open to moving the Stanford alum, no viable offer has emerged.
Two teams who could be interested reside in the AFC East. The Patriots made the surprising choice to waive Bailey Zappe on Tuesday. The 2022 fourth-rounder had generated momentum to potentially even challenge Mac Jones for his job this offseason; no realistic challenge occurred. As of now, Jones is the only QB on New England’s active roster. That will not be the case for too much longer, and the Patriots are believed to be targeting Colt McCoy. Indeed, a veteran QB2 is preferred, per the Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi.
Meanwhile, the Bills placed Matt Barkley on IR on Tuesday, removing him from their regular-season equation. Buffalo rosters only Kyle Allen, who spent most of last season backing up Mills in Houston, behind Josh Allen. Keenum spent the 2022 season in Buffalo, but the Houston alum agreed to terms with the Texans — his original NFL team — on Day 1 of the legal tampering period.