This offseason has been a very chaotic and dysfunctional one for the Houston Texans.
This offseason the Houston Texans have really shown their incompetence and why they really need an experienced general manager in place. The decision to trade a conditional fourth-rounder that could convert into a third-round pick for Duke Johnson was very questionable, considering the fact that the Oakland Raiders acquired All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown for only a third-round pick and a 5th round pick.
The Texans may have given up too much by parting with a potential future third-round pick for Johnson. Given the unfortunate season-ending injury to Lamar Miller, barring any injury, Johnson is surely going to play the ten games required to convert the fourth-round draft choice into a third.
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The Miller situation is another reason the Texans could use a seasoned general manager as they need to add a starting-caliber back with Miller’s injury. There are legitimate concerns regarding if O’Brien is the right person to call the shots. How do we know head coach Bill O’Brien is fit to make this decision? What has he actually done to show he’s good at evaluating talent?
If the Texans make a trade for a back, what guarantee is there that they won’t get taken advantage of similar to the Johnson trade? On top of that, what bargaining power would O’Brien have if he were trying to acquire a top-tier back like Melvin Gordon? He’s already played his cards in the Johnson trade, so the asking price would seem to be even steeper than it was for Johnson.
The Texans have mismanaged the situation with Jadeveon Clowney, as he should have been traded by now. Simply put, if the Texans had moved Clowney early in the off-season, they would have gotten back more than they would now because they would have had more leverage. The reports have been all over the place regarding Clowney.
According to Michael Lombardi of The Athletic, Texans were shopping Clowney for a wide receiver. Lombardi spoke on Sirius XM Radio recently and had the below quote:
"“He doesn’t have a contract, so he’s gotta sign the tender before they trade him. I think that’s almost a fait accompli. He will get traded within the next 24, 48 hours. I would be shocked if he didn’t. There’s a lot of teams that are after him. The Houston Texans, they want a receiver. They want another receiver to go with [DeAndre] Hopkins."
This literally made no sense since the Texans have arguably one the league’s most promising trio of receivers in DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Keke Coutee. Sure health is a big question for Fuller and Coutee but it’s a small sample size with Coutee, and the lack of availability from Fuller could prove to be pivotal in contract negotiations since Fuller is in a contract year.
So to trade a three-time Pro-Bowler for a receiver means you better be getting back a top-flight receiver, and while it would surely help Deshaun Watson by having two of those on the field, it’s not a pressing need considering the challenges on the offensive line. So there isn’t simply a lot of logic behind that.
Then there were more recent reports of Miami being the front runner to land Clowney’s services, as Clowney met with head coach Brian Flores, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Clowney to Miami is a good destination if they are able to get another young player in return especially if it addresses the biggest need for the Texans, which is the offensive tackle position. However, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Laremy Tunsil will not form part of a trade package involving Clowney. If that is the case, the Texans need to eliminate the Dolphins as a trade partner, but that doesn’t seem to be the case if they gave him permission to meet with the Dolphins’ head coach.
The biggest blunder the Texans had was letting the rest of the league know the exact asking price for Clowney. According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the Texans have made it well known around the league that they’re willing to part with Clowney for a second-round draft pick. It is not smart to tip your hand too much because offers will pour in for less than what you’re seeking. On top of that, the asking price will only weaken as the season opener gets closer, so why would a team make a deal in the spring when they can make a move in August for far less?
To think the Texans are willing to part with an edge rusher in his prime for a second-round pick really shows they don’t know Clowney’s worth around the league. An experienced general manager would have handled this situation more accordingly to the talented player that Clowney is.
Regardless, the Texans are fully entrenched this is the way to go because they’re holding out one year for Nick Caserio, but they’ve got pressing decisions now that could really affect the direction of the team.