Texans officially release Kenny Stills


Attention, contenders: A veteran receiver with plenty of experience is available. As long as none of the non-contenders claim him.

The Texans officially have released Kenny Stills. Because the move comes after the trade deadline, Stills will be required to pass through waivers. Every team will have a chance to submit a claim for “dibs” on Stills and his five remaining 2020 game checks, at $410,000 each.

Stills, originally drafted by the Saints in 2013, was traded to the Dolphins in 2015. He signed a four-year, $32 million deal to remain in Miami in March 2017. Miami traded Stills along with tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Texans in September 2019, for two first-round picks and a second-round pick.

That contract officially will expire if Stills clears waivers, allowing him to sign with any team. Stills also would have the ability to collect the balance of his salary from the Texans as termination pay, and he’d be able to keep anything he makes in a new city.

Prior to the trade deadline, Texans receiver Will Fuller‘s name was at the center of most of the trade chatter. Cutting him after the trade deadline becomes the only way for the Texans to potentially avoid paying the balance of his salary, and the timing of the move may have been specifically engineered to try to induce a team with needs at the position to pull the trigger on a waivers claim.

The Texans would have avoided the entire $6.975 million salary by cutting Stills before the start of the 2020 season. In hindsight, that would have been the best move; this year, Stills has caught only 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown.