Should the Houston Texans trade Dameon Pierce and if so, what is he worth?

The Houston Texans may be open to trading running back Dameon Pierce, but should they?
Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Dameon Pierce had a rough 2023. The then-second-year running back saw a massive drop in production from his rookie to his sophomore season, going from 939 yards, on 220 carries, to just 416 yards on 145 carries. He went from 4.2 yards per carry to just 2.9 yards per carry in the matter of a year. But why? Was it all the fault of the offensive line?

Not entirely, Devin Singletary had 829 yards on 216 carries for an average of 4.2 yards per carry. Nothing we haven't seen before but clearly Singletary did a lot better behind the same offensive line than Pierce. Most of the offensive line talent was the same from 2022 to 2023, and what changes were made, were mostly made when Singletary took over as primary back.

So why did Pierce fall off so fast? We're not entirely sure. There's no real explanation other than a lack of interest on his part in playing, or a lack of effective plays by the coaching staff. Sometimes you just have coaches that try to fit a square player into a round playbook and that may have been the biggest issue Pierce faced, a new head coach and a new offensive scheme.

Now, trade talks abound for the soon-to-be third-year running back, with many people fantasy booking his arrival to a new team. Some have said the Washington Commanders, others the Dallas Cowboys, and I'm sure there are others who wouldn't mind Pierce on their team.

He was taken by the Texans with a fourth-round pick, and so getting back a fifth or sixth-round pick wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. It's not like seeing a first-overall pick get traded for a seventh-rounder.

The only real question is if the Texans should seriously entertain the idea. The team did pick up Joe Mixon, who on paper may be as good as Singletary, but he's not going to break the NFL. You're going to need a reliable backup who can eat up 10 carries a game minimum, so trading Pierce would just open up a hole on the team that needs to be filled.

Now, if you think you can do better than Pierce in free agency (Ezekiel Elliot is still available) or in the NFL Draft, then that's the way to go. Yet, if Pierce isn't someone you've written off yet, there's no reason to make a trade just to get back a very late draft pick. Doing so will just force you to fill yet another hole you can't afford to do at this point in the draft process.

Maybe come June 1 when the next wave of releases happens, but for right now it's best to let things be at the running back position.