The focus over the past several days has been on the haul theHouston Texansgave up forLaremy Tunsiland the questionable one they received in return forJadeveon Clowney. Too little attention has been paid to the other offensive player theTexansgot in the Tunsil deal:Kenny Stills.
Stills appeared on the cutting block in Miami after off-field critiques of team owner Stephen Ross and the NFL’s partnership with Jay-Z.Dolphinscoach Brian Flores also cited the staff’s disappointment in Stills’ play during camp. TheDolphinsappeared to use the Tunsil trade as the chance to jettison a player and contract they had no desire to keep.
Moving to Houston, Stills could play a vital role for a team with playoff aspirations. His ability as a field-stretcher fits well alongside starDeAndre Hopkins, and he also can line up all over the formation. WithWill FullerandKeke Couteenot staying healthy the past several seasons, importing a player like Stills — who has played at least 15 games in each of his six NFL seasons — provided needed depth at the position.
Coach Bill O’Brien cooed about what Stills could provide his offense.
“He can run all the routes on the outside,” O’Brien said Monday,via the team’s official website. “I think he can play on the inside. I think he’s a versatile wide receiver that can do a lot of different things. He’s got good hands, is a really good route runner, very smooth route runner, so he has a combination of speed and route-running ability that, I think you guys know in being around me for a while, that I really like having on the team.”
The hefty price theTexanspaid to bring in Tunsil can’t be fully analyzed for years to come, but if Stills can help boost Houston’s receiver corps, perhaps he can be more than a toss-in footnote when it’s all said and done.