With the trade deadline approaching and, as a practical matter, the trade deadline imminent for teams that hope to have any new players on the field in Week Nine, a former first-round receiver is drawing interest.
According to Aaron Reiss of TheAthletic.com, multiple teams have inquired about Texans receiver Will Fuller. One of those teams, per the report, is the Packers.
Fuller was the first of three straight receivers taken in the 2016 draft from picks 21 through 23; the other two (Josh Doctson of Washington and Laquon Treadwell of the Vikings) are out of the league.
Fuller currently is in the option year of his rookie contract, at a salary of $10.162 million.
Reiss explains that the Texans aren’t interested in a fire sale, and that they won’t trade just to trade. That’s what they have to say to maximize leverage, especially if only the Packers have significant interest.
The Texans have been criticized for doing bad deals in recent years. Currently, their interim General Manager is executive V.P. of football operations Jack Easterby, who has limited (if any) qualifications for or experience in matters of this nature. That could cause other teams to try to take advantage of the Texans.
It also could make Easterby leering about doing any deals, for fear of being taken advantage of.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur was the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame in 2014, one of the three years that Fuller played for college football there.
Fuller’s value could be hard to gauge, given that he’s one half of a season away from becoming a free agent. Last year, the Broncos got a third-round pick for Emmanuel Sanders from the 49ers; Sanders left San Francisco earlier this year, after his contract expired.
For the Texans, the first question is whether they want Fuller beyond 2020. The next question becomes whether they want to try to get value for him now or whether they want to let him leave in free agency, enhancing the team’s potential collection of compensatory draft picks in 2022.