Last offseason, Bill O’Brien extended Darren Fells with a two-year contract worth up to $6.3 million. This was a dumb decision. Fells had a career high seven receiving touchdowns in 2019, making the most of a read-pass-drag-flat offense that didn’t work once the Texans played teams with competent linebackers and boxing out defenders in the red zone. The Texans paid for career-high mercurial production and looked past what is a clearer projection of future performance—the skills themselves. Fells was a plodding route runner, an awful blocker, and his entire game was based on being tall and wide. The Texans paid for touchdowns. Fells had four of them on a 4-12 team last season.
Nick Caserio made the correct decision and released Fells today. The decision saves the Texans $2.3 million in cap space.
The #Texans are releasing veteran TE Darren Fells, source said, after 11 TDs in the last 2 seasons.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2021
Houston was already up to the top of the gap, like a horrified passenger swimming through a drowning submarine, and this move creates a little bit of space so Caserio can sign another linebacker. Elijah Lee, come on down.
Instead, Caserio immediately followed up this move by trading for New England Patriots tight end Ryan Izzo at the cost of a seventh round pick.
Texans have traded for tight end Ryan Izzo, sending a seventh-round draft pick to the Patriots, according to a league source— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 18, 2021
Izzo is a former seventh round pick himself. He was one of New England’s primary tight ends. He played 62% of the offensive snaps for the Patriots last season, mustering 13 catches on 20 targets for 199 yards.
The Houston Texans are not Patriots South. Don’t you ever forget that.