Over the weekend, the Houston Texans got drunk as hell and flipped their entire roster in a matter of hours in swaps with Seattle and Miami. What makes this wild roster flip even weirder is the fact that the Texans don’t reallyyy have a general manager so head coach Bill O’Brien is most likely pulling the strings and creating the roster he thinks could save his job which is the exact formula for losing your job.
Here’s what Bill O’Brien said regarding these moves:
“These moves were part of a plan, something that was well thought out,” O’Brien said Monday, per Sarah Barshop of ESPN. “We spent a lot of time on it and tried to execute the plan. It’s not just a plan to improve the team for 2019, it’s a plan to improve the roster for years to come. It’s given us the ability and flexibility to extend our core players while continuing to add and develop talent.”
Wow, you never want to come off like Dave Gettleman talking about imaginary ‘plans’ that don’t exist and that we are too naive to understand the wheelings and dealings of a genius.
Let’s start with the Jadeveon Clowney trade that just gave the Seattle Seahawks the AFC West title guaranteed and totally weakened the Texans front 7.
It’s easy to call Clowney a disappointment because expectations were through the roof when he was drafted. He’s only played 16 games once since being selected No. 1 overall in 2014. He’s also never had double-digit sacks in his career yet.
But there’s more to defense than numbers especially considered he was playing alongside JJ Watt. One of them has to occupy the line while the other breaks into the backfield for the stop. Simply having a pass rusher with his talent forces opposing offenses to change the way they scheme their blocking. That threat is now in Seattle.
It’s understandable to not want to give a long term deal to a player that has been injury prone thus far in his brief career but that’s exactly why the franchise tag exists. Houston didn’t need to give him a long term deal. Franchise tag him and he’ll be back Week 1.
But the Texans weren’t done making questionable decisions. They sent a 2020 first rounder and their 2021 first and second round picks for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills.
That’s fucking insane.
Laremy Tunsil is a great left tackle. Deshaun Watson was hit so many times last season that he had to take a bus to road games because his damaged ribs couldn’t handle the air pressure of flights. The Texans needed to protect him.
Some would argue, they could’ve drafted a left tackle using those first round picks they gave away.
We don’t need to go into NFL team building in 2019 but Deshaun Watson is a Top 5 quarterback in the NFL right now which means he’s going to need to be paid as such very shortly and that contract is going to swallow up a lot of cap space. You know which players don’t swallow up a lot of cap space and can help contribute at a high level immediately? First round draft picks that now belong to Miami.
Kenny Stills is a really talented receiver and playing alongsie DeAndre Hopkins might give the Texans the best receiving corp in the NFL. The problem is, the Miami Dolphins hated Kenny Stills after he called out their owner for supporting Donald Trump. Houston could’ve acquired Stills for a 7th rounder and a freshly printed MAGA hat. Again, didn’t need to forfeit their future.
But this is allll Andrew Luck’s fault.
First, Luck led the Indianapolis Colts over the Houston Texans in the AFC Wild Card round last season. The Texans were a team of destiny having started 0-3 and going on a 9 game win streak to finish 11-5. Then Andrew Luck beat their asses in a game that wasn’t particularly competitive at any point.
So when Luck announces his retirement, Bill O’Brien’s eyes clearly lit up. Now is Houston’s chance to win the AFC South easily and walk into the playoffs. Fuck 2020 and 2021. The Texans window is right now (even though the Colts and Jags will be just as average those seasons as they are now and there is no urgency with their young superstar QB).
But Houston also saw Luck limp away because Indianapolis refused to protect him all those years. the Texans don’t want Deshaun Watson wheelchairing up to a podium around Week 8 to say he no longer loves football because Jacksonville’s Josh Allen broke him over his knee like Bane did to Batman.
The Houston Texans are dead. Andrew Luck killed them.