A Wednesday report indicated a no-tag scenario meant a likely Fuller exit, though the Texans would like to keep him. The promising but inconsistent deep threat now seems like he will be coveted in free agency, but there are certainly some red flags for teams to consider.
With Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay and Chris Godwin on the tag radar, the likes of Fuller, JuJu Smith-Schuster and others figure to climb within teams’ priority queues in free agency. Fuller has delivered an unreliable five seasons with the Texans, having not played more than 11 games in a season since his 2016 rookie slate.
Due to the PED suspension the NFL slapped him with last year, Fuller will miss the 2021 season opener as well. However, the 26-year-old target was having his best season prior to the ban. Fuller posted career highs in receiving yards (879) and touchdowns (eight) in 2020, and the injury-prone player played in the Texans’ first 11 games.
Fuller leaving will continue a high-turnover period for the Texans’ receiving corps. The Texans traded for Kenny Stills in 2019 and cut him last year. Sandwiched in between these transactions: the trade of DeAndre Hopkins, the Randall Cobb signing and the Brandin Cooks trade. Houston has Cobb and Cooks under contract for 2021, but the hiring of Nick Caserio as GM complicates Texan holdovers’ statuses.
Deshaun Watson lobbied the Texans to retain Fuller late last year, but the quarterback has since let it be known he wants to be traded. It seems highly unlikely Watson has followed through on his effort to ensure Fuller stays in Houston.
“That’s very important,” Watson said of the Texans re-signing Fuller. “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 too. And you know, make sure that we get him back for next year, especially in this organization.”
Watson’s meeting with new Texans HC David Culley has not prompted him to retract his trade request. A year after the Texans entered the offseason with Watson, Hopkins and Fuller, the team may be without both receivers and have a quarterback intent on following them out the door.
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