Mon Mar 1 7:21pm ET
HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Texans released veteran quarterback Josh McCown on Monday, likely ending his 18-year NFL career.
The Texans signed the 41-year-old in November, but he did not appear in a game. McCown joined the Texans after spending the early part of the season on the Eagles practice squad, a job that allowed him to stay at his home in Texas because of the pandemic instead of reporting to Philadelphia.
He last appeared in a game in January 2020 when he took over for an injured Carson Wentz in Philadelphia's 17-9 playoff loss to Seattle.
McCown spent the 2020 season with the Eagles after playing the previous two seasons for the Jets. He spent four seasons with the Cardinals after they drafted him in the third round in 2002 and has also played for the Lions, Raiders, Panthers, Bears, Buccaneers and Browns.
He's played 102 games and thrown for 17,731 yards and 98 touchdowns in his career.
Also, on Monday, the Texans signed cornerback Cornell Armstrong and running backs Dontrell Hilliard and Buddy Howell to contract extensions. The team did not release details of the deals.
Armstrong spent his first season with the Dolphins after they drafted him in the sixth round in 2018. He's been with the Texans for the past two seasons, appearing in 15 games with no starts.
Hilliard played with the Browns from 2018 until December when the Texans claimed him off waivers. He appeared in two games for Houston but did not have a carry last season.
Howell has been with the Texans since 2018 and has appeared in 45 games in three seasons. He had a career-high 16 carries for 64 yards last season.
Interview with the King
The Houston Texans released quarterback Josh McCown on Monday, according to the NFL's transaction wire. The 41-year-old played in three games for the Eagles in 2019 and became the league's oldest practice-squad player after he served as an emergency quarterback at the start of last season. McCown was signed to the active roster in November, but he never saw the field. The Texans actually interviewed him for their vacant head-coaching position in January, so McCown could get into coaching once he retires as a player. The Texans also announced on Monday that they signed running backs Buddy Howell and Dontrell Hilliard and cornerback Cornell Armstrong to contract extensions.
The Chicago Bears released cornerback Buster Skrine on Monday, according to a source. Skrine, a 10-year veteran who will turn 32 years old in April, played 68 percent of the defensive snaps in 2019, but he missed the final four games and the playoffs due to the sixth reported concussion of his career. He had 68 tackles while playing 52 percent of the snaps in 2020, and opposing quarterbacks had a 125.7 passer rating when throwing his way, according to Pro Football Reference. The Bears don't have an obvious replacement for him on their roster, but Duke Shelley and Kindle Vildor could be asked to step up. By cutting Skrine, Chicago will take a $3.3 million dead salary cap hit. The veteran would've been owed $6 million in 2021.
Free-agent defensive end J.J. Watt announced on Twitter on Monday that he has chosen the Arizona Cardinals as his next team. The Cardinals are giving the star pass-rusher a two-year deal worth $31 million, according to an informed source. The deal includes $23 million guaranteed. The 31-year-old is a five-time Pro Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro, but he's been hurt by injuries in three of the last five seasons. Watt managed to play in 16 games in his final season in Houston in 2020, recording 52 tackles (14 for loss), 17 QB hits, one interception for a touchdown, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and five sacks. Paired up with Chandler Jones on Arizona's defensive line, the Cardinals Defense will be much more feared with the addition of Watt.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (toe) underwent surgery to fix his turf-toe injury on Feb. 10. With a three-month recovery period expected, the Chiefs think that Mahomes will be ready for training camp this summer, and he could be good to go by mandatory minicamp, according to general manager Brett Veach. The 25-year-old was slowed a bit by the toe injury in the postseason, but it's not expected to affect him moving forward after surgery. Mahomes is an elite player at his position and is a perennial Pro Bowler and MVP candidate after making back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl. He had 4,740 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2020 while also adding 62 carries for 308 yards and two TDs on the ground. Mahomes will once again be in consideration as the first fantasy signal-caller off the board in 2021.
The Washington Football Team is expected to part ways with quarterback Alex Smith in the coming days, according to informed sources. Smith had a gruesome leg injury in 2018 and needed 17 surgeries to fix and later save his leg from amputation. He missed all of the 2019 season before becoming the league's 2020 Comeback Player of the Year, going 5-1 as a starter and helping the team win the NFC East division. However, the new regime never believed that Smith could make a comeback and were set to go in a different direction under center. The 36-year-old played decent football in his return, but it remains to be seen if another organization will give Smith a chance to compete for a starting job. A reunion with Matt Nagy in Chicago, Smith's former offensive coordinator in Kansas City, could be coming.
Washington Football Team QB Alex Smith will part ways with the team in the coming days.
Fantasy Spin: Smith has expressed a desire to continue playing, but he has no value in fantasy.
Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has missed just one of his last 96 games due to injury.
Fantasy Spin: Cousins was 11th in fantasy points at the position last year. Honestly, for the unheralded nature of his 35-touchdown season, that might come as a surprise to some. Cousins is a solid fantasy quarterback, but he keeps getting pushed down the pecking order as these more dynamic athletes become more polished.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (toe) is expected to be ready for training camp and could be ready for mandatory mini camp, according to general manager Brett Veach. The surgery had a three-month recovery.
Fantasy Spin: Mahomes is arguably the best quarterback in fantasy, but the gap has narrowed with the amount of dual-threat options.
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson stormed out of a meeting before a Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals because he felt his ideas on how to fix the offense were being rebuffed, according to a report by The Athletic's Michael-Shawn Dugar, Mike Sando and Jayson Jenks. Wilson has attempted to add his influence to the offense and has felt shut out by coaches at times.
Fantasy Spin: Wilson is a midrange QB1 if he stays in Seattle, but he could have upside if he were dealt to a more potent offense.
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton hit it off at the Pro Bowl three years ago, according to MMQB's Peter King. The Saints are on Wilson's list of desired destinations if he's traded.
Fantasy Spin: Wilson would be dynamite in the Saints' offense if it comes to fruition. This is another scenario to watch for QB1s in fantasy this offseason.
New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara has tallied 58 catches of at least 15 yards since entering the league in 2017 - the most by any running back over that span - according to Pro Football Focus.
Fantasy Spin: Kamara is the proud owner of 326 catches since becoming a Saint, so he's had plenty of opportunities to create big plays. With that said, the four-time Pro Bowler deserves plenty of credit for this stat as he has forced a league-high 79 missed tackles on those receptions. The likely retirement of Drew Brees figures to drop Kamara from the elite group of fantasy running backs, but it shouldn't keep him from serving as a solid RB1 option.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has recorded a league-best 102 completions on throws of at least 20 yards downfield since the start of the 2018 season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Fantasy Spin: It should come as no surprise that the leader of the NFL's most explosive passing offense - paired with perhaps the league's most dynamic deep-ball threat in Tyreek Hill - would find himself atop the leaderboard in such a category. Most of the band is expected back - with the possible exception of Sammy Watkins for Kansas City in 2021, so Mahomes should be primed for another run at overall QB1 honors in fantasy and plenty of long completions yet again.
Seattle Seahawks impending free-agent RB Chris Carson averaged a career-high 4.8 yards per carry and a career-best 3.1 receptions per game in 2020.
Fantasy Spin: Carson missed time with an injury, but he resumed his role as Seattle's workhorse back down the stretch while expanding his involvement in the passing game. If the Seahawks bring him back in 2021, RB2 production seems like a given.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert averaged 3.7 receptions and 40.0 receiving yards and didn't score a touchdown in three games with QB Jalen Hurts as the starter.
Fantasy Spin: On the plus side, Goedert did have 17 targets in those same three games, so Hurts wasn't ignoring him. If Zach Ertz trade rumors turn out to be true, Goedert will have enough more than enough upside to target as a potential TE1.
New England Patriots impending free-agent RB James White's 375 receiving yards in 2020 were the fewest since his rookie season when he appeared in three games, and his 49 receptions and 62 targets were his lowest totals since 2014.
Fantasy Spin: White has been a steady presence in the New England passing attack throughout his career, but he was largely an afterthought in the Cam Newton-led offense. His days as a PPR asset could be numbered, and at the very least, fantasy owners need to see where White is playing and who is throwing him the football before drafting him in 2021.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp led all receivers with 21 avoided tackles after receptions in 2020, according to Pro Football Focus.
Fantasy Spin: Kupp finished just shy of 1,000 yards last year, but he topped 90 catches for the second season in a row. His touchdown total dipped from 10 to three, but the addition of quarterback Matthew Stafford should raise Kupp's ceiling. Consider him a WR2 with upside.
Arizona Cardinals impending free-agent WR Larry Fitzgerald's 54 receptions in 2020 were the most by a player without a drop.
Cincinnati Bengals impending free-agent DE Carl Lawson likely will not receive the franchise tag this offseason, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Ben Baby.
Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent DT Tyrone Crawford may consider retirement this offseason, according to ESPN.com's Todd Archer.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans is the only player in NFL history to record at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first seven seasons in the league.
Fantasy Spin: Evans has been one of the most consistent option in fantasy football since entering the NFL and should see similar success next season as long as he can stay healthy. He will be a weekly starting option in all fantasy leagues.