The Houston Texans made a bold move in trading for veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in the 2018 NFL trade deadline.
The Houston Texans acquired five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl 50 champion Demaryius Thomas to strengthen the wide receiver position once Will Fuller was ruled out for the remainder of the season as he underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. Texans general manager Brian Gaine gave a 2019 fourth-round draft pick and swapped seventh-round draft picks with the Denver Broncos to close the transaction.
A fourth-round draft pick was a small price to pay to get Thomas as he would be able to take pressure off DeAndre Hopkins and be another valuable veteran presence in the Texans locker room. Thomas proved to do both as he started in seven games and recorded 23 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns. His season with the Texans was cut short as he ruptured his Achilles against the Philadelphia Eagles as he was one of the designated blockers in a screen pass for Hopkins.
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With how much Gaine valued draft picks as the new general manager of the Texans, giving up a fourth rounder for a one-year rental seemed a bit far fetched at first, but the front office was going to have a looming decision in 2019 as Thomas had a $14 million non-guaranteed cap hit. At 31 years of age, Thomas’ production was not going to match the amount he was going to get paid, but if he showed promise, the Texans had the option of working out a contract extension to lessen the cap hit in 2019.
The issue with is that the Achilles injury somewhat complicates the situation moving forward, the Texans will have a promising trio of receivers in Hopkins, Fuller, and Keke Coutee. Thomas role moving forward would have been reduced due to the talent at that position, but a healthy Thomas would have been of great value to the organization.
The Texans essentially have two options moving forward since trading him would be almost impossible with his Achilles injury, they can waive him and save $14 million in cap space or work out a new deal to open up cap space next season. Thomas has shown an inclination to return to the Texans, but he was aware of the fact that he could be the odd man out due to his injury and contract situation.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle interviewed Thomas as the season came to a close.
"I told them I would love to finish my career here, but we’ll see, Thomas said. This is what we have to deal with as players and guys in the locker room."
Thomas will be rehabbing from his second Achilles injury in his career, but the road to recovery will be a long road as he was injured so late in the regular season. Running back D’Onta Foreman and cornerback Kayvon Webster are NFL players that come to mind that it took time for them to get back to football shape, and even when they were cleared to return they still weren’t in the most optimal condition to see a lot of action.