With the offseason additions of Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills could be the “odd man out” according to Aaron Reiss of The Athletic. With Will Fuller and Cooks, the team has two starting deep threats while Cobb is slated as the starting slot receiver. Stills is a good player, but paying a backup $7 million in 2020 might be too much for the organization to swallow.
Of course, Fuller’s injury history is a big concern, having never played a full season in four years. Last year’s 49 receptions for 670 yards through 11 games played were the best numbers of his career. He has all the talent in the world, but staying on the field isn’t one of those talents. That will give the Texans pause, but Stills will still be a backup going into the season.
If the Texans release Stills, they save 100 percent of his $7 million salary. Of course, they would rather trade him, but his market isn’t good enough due to his price tag to net more than a late round pick at best. Wide receiver depth in the draft is too good for teams to give up a good pick for a 28-year-old receiver with a hefty price when they could get a rookie receiver for cheap.
In the end, this looks like a position the Texans didn’t need to get themselves into. GM-coach Bill O’Brien has made some questionable moves this offseason and acquiring Cooks and Cobb to replace DeAndre Hopkins feels like a reactionary move to make up for a terrible trade. The Texans could have run with Stills in the slot instead of Cobb and Cooks and Fuller out wide, but O’Brien appears set on the a more traditional slot receiver in Cobb, sending Stills to the bench in the process.