The Houston Texans are waiving wide receiver Kenny Stills, according to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe. Stills had been acquired from the Dolphins in August of 2019 as part of the trade for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.
He will be subject to waivers, which means if another team claims him, they are on the hook for his existing contract. His current contract is scheduled to expire after the season. The waiver order is determined by current win-loss record. Stills, 28, was scheduled to earn $7 million this season, so he would get a prorated amount from the team that claimed him on waivers. If he clears waivers, he is free to sign with any team of his choosing.
The Oklahoma product had been ruled out of the Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit. Stills has 11 receptions for 144 yards and one touchdown this season. His pace would set career lows in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns by a wide margin.
The Texans are 4-7 this season but have won three of their last four games under interim head coach Romeo Crennel. Former head coach Bill O’Brien was fired in October after the team started the season 0-4. Houston has remodeled their wide receiver room; DeAndre Hopkins and Stills are gone from last year’s team but the team added Randall Cobb, Brandin Cooks.
Five potential landing spots for the veteran receiver
The Packers sniffed around available wide receivers at the NFL Trade Deadline but found asking prices to be too steep. Davante Adams has established himself as one of the best wide receivers in the game but production has been inconsistent otherwise. Allen Lazard returned last week but has been limited in practice. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is just as likely to make a game-saving play as a crippling mistake.
Stills, although unimpressive in 2020, would give Aaron Rodgers another outlet in that offense. The team would suddenly have depth in the event of injury.
The Patriots are now third in the AFC East with a 4-6 record. Bill Belichick seems resigned to the idea that this season is lost and the addition of Stills is not going to turn them into a Super Bowl contender. His decisions have been predicated on creating salary cap space for long-term flexibility. Unless Stills clears waivers and signs at a discount, New England might be the least likely option of the five.
Since the injury to Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland has lacked a downfield threat. Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins have proven capable of making a play here and there when called upon but teams are going to start encroaching closer and closer to the line of scrimmage if the Browns are unable to spread the field vertically. The AFC North franchise is clinging to a playoff spot in a hotly contested AFC race. Cleveland hangs their hat on running the football but can ill afford becoming overly one-dimensional.
Baltimore, like New Orleans, has been making every move necessary to improve in 2020 at the expense of future success. They traded for Yannick Ngakoue and signed Dez Bryant. Marquise Brown, who has publicly complained about his lack of involvement, leads all Ravens wide receivers with 32 receptions. Tight end Mark Andrews has as many touchdowns (6) as every wide receiver on the roster combined. It would not be a surprise to see Baltimore take a flyer on Stills in the hopes that he rejuvenates the offense.
Washington Football Team
The final spot came down to three teams: Miami, Philadelphia and Washington. The Dolphins were excluded because of how things ended between Stills and Miami a little more than a year ago.
Terry McLaurin has earned inclusion in a conversation of the league’s top wide receivers. Similar to Green Bay, there has been zero reliable production elsewhere at the wide receiver position. Running back J.D. McKissic is No. 2 on the team in receptions and receiving yards. Washington leads the NFC East after dismantling the rival Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.