The Houston Texans are in a state of unrest with even the player who just signed the largest contract in franchise history. So, yeah, there might be a state of unrest with the team's 2021 NFL free agents, too.
Including Will Fuller.
Fuller ranks as Pro Football Focus' No. 12 player on its list of top-100 free agents. PFF writes:
12. WR WILL FULLER V
Will Fuller has the all-important “speed you can’t teach,” which will always elevate him beyond where his production would otherwise rank him. It was clear even when the Texans had DeAndre Hopkins as their No. 1 receiver that Fuller made a material difference to the offense just by being on the field. Defenses needed to respect that deep threat on every single snap. He has yet to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season and has missed a lot of time with injuries throughout his career, but he will still be in his mid-20s when free agency rolls around. And his speed threat is transformative for an offense that doesn’t have it.
For a player who struggled badly with drops in college, Fuller has largely kept those under control at the NFL level, with just 19 total in his career — 14 of which came in two separate seasons.
Contract Analysis: Houston seemingly put itself in a precarious position by not trading Fuller to the Packers at the deadline. Fuller was having a career year and seemed destined to command top dollar in a crowded wide receiver free agent class, but a six-game suspension for PEDs cut his 2020 season short. In situations like this, the range for the next contract is very wide.
Prediction: Packers sign Fuller for five years, $87.5 million ($17.5M APY): $25 million signing bonus (generally all the Packers guarantee).
SI's CODY STOOTS ANALYSIS/PREDICTION
The Houston Texans are still in a position where they need Will Fuller. Now the Texans need to hope Fuller ends up needing them as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of factors working towards a reunion.
This is a loaded wide receiver free agent group. There are numerous options ranging from potential stars to bargains on the market so players will lack negotiating power there. Expect salaries to be slightly depressed too. After years of having the salary cap going up, it looks to stick or even decrease this offseason.
PFF's contract projection seems wildly out of whack considering Fuller's lack of reliability throughout his career. As for Green Bay as a landing spot, it doesn't matter Matt LeFleur coached him in college. It doesn't matter Green Bay tried to trade for him.
I would expect Fuller to command something similar to Robby Anderson's contract in Carolina last year where the former Jets speedster signed with the Panthers for two years and $20 million.
The last part is the Deshaun Watson factor to Fuller's free agency. With an unhappy quarterback, bringing back a wideout he's often praised and wanted to be here would help mend some fences. Fuller could opt for an extra year of security and the Texans can put him in the top 20 of wide receiver contracts.
Prediction: Texans re-sign Fuller for three years, $37.5 million ($12.5M APY): $21.75 million guaranteed.
The rest of PFF's top 100 is here. ... and Fuller isn't the only name included.