News broke yesterday afternoon and evening on two player suspensions within the Houston Texans organization, with WR Will Fuller and CB Bradley Roby receiving 6 game suspensions. Both players took to social media to post the news along with their explanations. The suspensions have yet to be formally announced by the league.
The player suspensions of 6 games means both players tested positive for anabolics (per the CBA mandated suspension protocols). With 5 games left in the regular season, both players will miss the remainder of the 2020 season and the opening game of the 2021 season.
Will Fuller was on pace for the best season of his career with 879 receiving yards on 53 receptions through 11 games. Fuller is playing out the last year of his rookie contract, playing on the 5th year option. Fuller will now forfeit $2,988,824 for 2020, and one game check in 2021 (amount unknown). Fuller is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2021. It is possible this suspension, on top of his injury history, could affect potential earnings on the open market. Fuller may have to travel the one year contract in hopes of playing a full season to reset his value in 2022.
Bradley Roby is undoubtedly Houston’s most talented cornerback in a very thin roster group. Roby’s performance for 2020 has been on-par based on his performance history. Roby signed a 3 year, $31.5 million contract this past offseason with Houston as an unrestricted free agent. The contract contained $19 million in total guarantees at signing. The remainder of those guarantees (potentially) can now be voided by Houston. Roby’s suspension will cost him $1,511,029 in cash from lost salary and per game roster bonuses in 2020; and $590,074 in cash in 2021.
Roby is scheduled to earn a base salary of $9.5 million in 2021. Of that amount, $8 million was fully guaranteed at signing of his contract in 2020. The suspension should now void that guarantee. Expectation is Roby will remain with the team in 2021; however if the new front office has other plans, the removal of the guarantee does offer flexibility to the team salary cap situation in 2021.
Roby and Fuller missing the first game of the 2021 regular season will also potential void any termination pay guarantees on their contract for the 2021 league year.
Houston will receive immediate cap credits in 2020 and 2021 (for Roby) for the forfeited salary amounts of about $4.5 million.