NFL trade deadline: Texans should have a liquidation sale
The Houston Texans have one win. They’d be insane not to trade anybody of value outside of star quarterback Deshaun Watson. Deshaun Watson is untouchable in the NFL trade deadline. Everyone else? Make an offer.
This should be the position of the Houston Texans, who at 1-6 are languishing at the bottom of the AFC South alongside the Jacksonville Jaguars. The talent on offense is limited at best outside of Watson, and the defense has more holes than Swiss cheese.
Without a first-round pick in 2021 due to the Laremy Tunsil trade, Houston is without an incredibly valuable asset — in fact, the most important asset by far — for a bad team. Oh yeah, the Texans don’t have a second-round choice either. Oops.
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The most obvious name is J.J. Watt, who has been the best defensive lineman in football over the past decade. However, after injuries have wrecked his body to an extent, he’s merely a good player with a ticking clock. Still, Watt has value and with no guaranteed money left on a deal set to expire after the ’21 season, Houston should be making calls and gauging interest. If there’s a second or third-round pick to be had, make the move.
Offensively, look no further than receiver Will Fuller. Fuller, the oft-injured speedster, has played in all seven games this season and has 490 receiving yards. He’s certainly worth a Day 2 pick considering the big-play threat he provides to any contender who acquires him. Fuller is slated for free agency after the season.
Other names which could draw interest on the market at the NFL trade deadline include tight end Darren Fells (his contract has $2.8 million for 2021) receiver Kenny Stills (free agent after 2020) and to a lesser extent, cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves and Gareon Conley (both free agents this upcoming winter).
Houston has to be realistic, and the firing of Bill O’Brien after starting 0-4 suggests the organization understands its plight. The Texans must acquire draft capital to start rebuilding on both sides of the ball, all while making the head coach and general manager jobs more attractive for candidates.
For years, Houston has stayed afloat on the talents of Watson and Watt. Those days are long gone, and with Watson having what should be ample years ahead, it’s time to give him a better future even if the next nine games are ugly.