Over the last few months, there’s been some speculation that your Houston Texans could decide to cut Zach Fulton, who they signed as a free agent two years ago to bolster their then-horrendous offensive line, in order to free up additional cap space. Fulton certainly hasn’t been great in Houston, and it stands to reason the Texans might see a way to upgrade one of their guard positions by parting ways with the pricey veteran; indeed, Larry Warford was mentioned a few weeks back as a potential target (though it seems unlikely jettisoning Fulton and signing Warford would result in much, if any, cap savings).
Today, however, the Texans signaled that they’d rather maintain continuity on their offensive line instead of creating as much cap room as possible. Instead of cutting Fulton, the team restructured his existing contract.
Texans restructured veteran right guard Zach Fulton's contract, according to league sources. Previously due $6.5 million base salaries in 2020-2021 with annual $500K total per-game active roster bonus, his deal now pays him $5M this year (guaranteed) $3M (nonguaranteed) in 2021— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 29, 2020
Texans originally signed guard Zach Fulton in 2018 to four-year, $27.92 million contract that includes $13 million guaranteed. He started 15 games last season— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 29, 2020
NFL source confirms #Texans restructured the contract for RG @ZachFulton72. Fulton will make a guaranteed $5 million in 2020 & $3 million in 2021 that’s not guaranteed. Fulton had been scheduled to make $14 million over the next 2 years w/ no guarantees. @FieldYates reported 1st— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 29, 2020
Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly previously said the team wanted to have continuity of all five starting offensive line back. Restructuring Zach Fulton accomplishes that goal— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 29, 2020
Tim Kelly: 'I believe it's the first time that we've had all five starters back since we've been here. Having all five of those guys back is vital. It's a good thing and it's something that we're definitely excited for'— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 29, 2020
Sounds like a $2.75m cap adjustment for 2020 for Fulton and Houston.— TexansCap (@TexansCap) May 29, 2020
So the Texans are slated to bring back their starting offensive line, with Fulton returning at a reduced salary in 2020 and with no guaranteed dollars in 2021. This makes it exceptionally easy for the team to move on from him after next season, but it also likely means any dreams of Warford (or another proven veteran) coming to Houston before September are dashed. Your thoughts?