When the Texans traded multiple draft picks and Julien Davenport to the Dolphins for Laremy Tunsil, they also received Kenny Stills, who played a valuable role as Houston’s number three and sometimes number two wideout receiver, depending on which moon phase we were under and the fabrics of Will Fuller’s hamstrings. Stills caught 40 of his 55 targets for 561 yards and had 4 touchdowns in 2019.
As the Texans’ offense is currently constructed, now that DeAndre Hopkins is gone, they have a lot of pass catchers, but they still lack a true, offense-carrying WR1. Duke Johnson, David Johnson, Jordan Akins, Jordan Thomas, Kahale Warring, Darren Fells, Brandin Cooks, Fuller, Randall Cobb, Keke Coutee, DeAndre Carter, and Stills are all on Houston’s roster. All would be fighting for playing time. That’s a lot of hands for only one ball.
The Texans won’t be able to carry all of these players into next season. Someone will be released. Someone could be traded. Yesterday, Bill Barnwell posted the 32 NFL players most likely to be released or traded for each NFL team. For the Texans, he picked Kenny Stills.
It’s admittedly naive to try to apply typical NFL logic to what the Texans will do, but after signing Randall Cobb and trading for Brandin Cooks, the Texans are now paying Stills $7 million to serve as the fourth wideout. None of that money is guaranteed, so they could either try to force Stills to take a pay cut, release him or find a trade partner for the 28-year-old.
Personally, I think Coutee is the first one out of Houston. The Texans signed Cobb to play the slot and replace Coutee. Coutee’s departure should be enough to trim down the wide receiver position. But Stills, unlike Coutee, does have some trade value, particularly once summer injuries occur. He’s in the last year of his contract and is due just $7 million. He’s a productive player and he can stretch the field. Nearly every team with cap space could use Kenny Stills to play the role he played in Houston in 2019.
What do you think? Which Texan do you think is most likely to be cut or traded? Alternatively, which player or players do you believe Houston should actively be trying to move on from, whether they will or not?