The Houston Texans will not place a franchise tag on wide receiver Will Fuller, likely prompting his departure via free agency, according to a report Thursday from the Houston Chronicle.
The 26-year-old Fuller had career highs with 53 catches for 879 yards and eight touchdowns in only 11 games in 2020. But his breakout season came to a sudden stop when the NFL suspended him for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Fuller’s suspension will carry over into Week 1 of the 2021 season.
The likely departure of Fuller marks the latest change in a busy offseason for the Texans, who already cut ties with star defensive end J.J. Watt. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson reportedly also has requested a trade.
Houston drafted Fuller in the first round (No. 21 overall) out of Notre Dame in 2016. He has 209 career receptions for 3,110 yards and 24 touchdowns in 53 career games (52 starts).
–Field Level Media
Denver Broncos cornerback A.J. Bouye has been suspended six games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancement policy, multiple media outlets reported on Wednesday.
Bouye’s case is related to the six-game suspensions presented last week to Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller and cornerback Bradley Roby, per the reports. Fuller and Bouye were teammates in Houston during the 2016 season.
KOA Radio reported on Tuesday that Bouye also took a supplement that he was told was a permitted substance under NFL policy.
A six-game suspension sidelines Bouye for the rest of this season and the first two games of the 2021 campaign. He is signed for next year with a base salary of $13 million.
Bouye is in his first season in Denver (4-8) after getting traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars in the offseason.
Bouye has played in seven games (starting all) and has recorded 23 tackles and six passes defensed. The 29-year-old went down with a shoulder injury in the Broncos’ season opener and went on injured reserve. He returned on Oct. 25 to start Denver’s Week 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bouye has 14 career interceptions and made the Pro Bowl with the Jaguars in 2017. He was picked up by the Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2013.
With cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot) on injured reserve, the Broncos could be without their two starting CBs on Sunday — and beyond — against the Carolina Panthers (4-8). The Broncos are down to Michael Ojemudia, De’Vante Bausby, Duke Dawson and Kevin Toliver at the position.
–Field Level Media
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V has been suspended for six games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Fuller announced the suspension Monday in a post on his Instagram account. He apologized to the Texans organization and its fans.
“Earlier this year, I sought treatment from a medical professional who prescribed medication that he believed to be permitted under the NFL’s drug policy,” Fuller wrote. “As it turns out, my trust in this professional was misplaced because this medication was NOT a permitted substance under the NFL Policy on Performance Enhancing Substances.
“As a result of this mistake, I have been suspended for six games for taking this prohibited medication. I want to sincerely apologize to the Texans organization and all of my fans for this mistake. I am looking forward to putting this all behind me and returning better than ever in 2021.”
Fuller, 26, had posted career highs in receptions (53), receiving yards (879) and touchdowns (eight) through 11 games this season. He is in his fifth year with the Texans, who drafted him in the first round (No. 21 overall) in 2016 out of Notre Dame.
The suspension includes the last five games of this season as well as the first game of the 2021 season for Fuller, a pending free agent.
Minus Fuller, the Texans could turn to Brandin Cooks as their top receiving option. He has 52 catches for 719 yards and three touchdowns.
–Field Level Media