NFL teams spent the day on Saturday trimming their rosters down to the final 53. With the NFL preseason finally behind us, the regular season is set to get started on Thursday with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Despite the transition into the regular season, there has been plenty of news around the league. Let’s take a look at some of the news over the last week:
Texans Make Major Changes
We all have that friend who likes to procrastinate until the very last second, but when it is all said and done, puts together a solid product. For the NFL this season, that “friend” might be the Houston Texans. On Saturday, they made a flurry of moves and have revamped a lineup looking to win the AFC South.
In one of the most shocking deals that the Texans made, they acquired offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for two first-round picks, a second-round pick, Julie’n Davenport and Johnson Bademosi.
The Texans have been desperate to remake their offensive line after quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times in 2018. With Tunsil protecting the blindside, as well as Tytus Howard, Max Scharping and Matt Kalil added, the Texans hope they have a much-improved line.
Stills will add another deep threat alongside DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Last season, Stills had 37 receptions for 553 yards and six touchdowns. For the Dolphins, the extra draft picks will be very beneficial as they go into a complete overhaul.
While the Texans picked up Tunsil using draft picks, there was a lot of speculation it would be Clowney that was headed to the Dolphins in the deal. Instead, the Texans sent the defensive star to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a 2020 third-rounder, linebacker Jacob Martin and defensive end Barkevious Mingo.
Last season, Clowney played in 15 games, recording 47 tackles, nine sacks and three fumble recoveries. Entering the last season of his contract, the Texans seemed behind the 8-ball, but are probably happy to at least get a third-round pick for the disgruntled star.
With Lamar Miller out with a season-ending injury, the Texans felt a lack of depth at the running back position. They addressed that on Saturday by trading offensive lineman Martinas Rankin to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Carlos Hyde.
While Hyde is a shell of his former self, the Texans are hoping that he will pair well with Duke Johnson. Last season, Hyde rushed 172 times for 571 yards and five touchdowns between the Browns and Jaguars. He also had 10 receptions for 33 yards. At 29, the Texans hope he has a little left in the tank.
If Saturday wasn’t busy enough for Houston, they also traded with the Patriots to acquire defensive back Keion Crossen. Last season, Crossen played in 11 games but was not likely to make the Patriots’ roster this season. In exchange, New England received a sixth-round pick.
Luck Shockingly Retires
Easily the most shocking of all of the NFL news from the last week was the decision by Andrew Luck to retire from the NFL. The star quarterback is retiring at the young age of 29, but if you look at his injury history, he has had significantly more wear and tear, both physically and mentally, than most other 29-year-olds.
This was not an easy decision for Luck, but it is a decision that he seems at peace with as the injuries have taken their toll. In his career, Luck had a record of 53-33, with 23,671 yards passing for 171 touchdowns. His best season was in 2014 when he threw for 4,761 yards and 40 touchdowns.
Surprisingly, last season was not far off of that total; however, Luck was once again dealing with an injury this season and was not going to be ready for the beginning of the campaign. In his place, the Colts will now turn to Jacoby Brissett as their new starting quarterback.
Gordon Free To Seek Out Trade
It was reported by Ian Rapoport on Saturday that the Chargers are allowing Melvin Gordon to seek out a trade. With contract negotiations stalling, and the star running back needing to play this year in order to get to free agency after the season, this seems like a feasible solution. There still remains a shot that he returns to the Chargers, but it now appears that Los Angeles is ready to move on.
Last season, Gordon rushed 175 times for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games. He also had 50 receptions for 490 yards and four touchdowns.
With Gordon still away from camp, the Chargers appear ready to hand the running back duties off to Austin Ekeler. Last season, Ekeler rushed 106 times for 554 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 39 receptions for 404 yards and an additional three touchdowns. It remains to be seen where Gordon plays this year, but it appears more likely it won’t be back with Los Angeles.
Bills Release McCoy
Another running back is available on the open market as the Buffalo Bills decided to cut running back LeSean McCoy on Saturday. Last season, McCoy rushed 161 times in 14 games for 514 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 34 receptions for 238 yards.
With McCoy entering the last year of his contract, this move may be just as much of a cost-cutting measure as anything else. In his place, Buffalo will look to Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and rookie Devin Singletary to run the ball. It is not out of the realm of possibility that McCoy latches on elsewhere, especially as teams look for other options at running back heading into the regular season.