GM O'Brien is growing on me
When news came of the Jadeveon Clowney trade to the Seahawks, I said it was another bad move. He gave away a freak of an edge rusher for some loose cigarettes and off brand soda. Trading yet another failure of a third round pick in offensive lineman Martinas Rankins to the Chiefs for running back Carlos Hyde was blah. Sure, you get something for a guy you were going to cut, but you got another guy who's been seen as a failure. He adds a big body to the backfield and depth in lieu of losing Lamar Miller for the season. Just when Texans fans were losing their minds on social media, Bill O'Brien said hold my beer. He acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Dolphins in exchange for Julien Davenport, Johnson Bademosi, two first round picks and a second rounder.
Going for it
THIS is the type of move a team makes when it's going for it! You have a franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson. He needs to be protected. When they failed to draft Andre Dillard and let the Eagles swoop in front of them, they went to plan B. Turns out plan B wasn't so hot because the two tackles they drafted, are now their starting guards. Go figure. Plan C seems to be the right move as Tunsil is under contract for two more years before he's eligible for an extension.
Because Tunsil is under contract for two more years on his rookie deal, it allows you time before you have to pay him top five left tackle money. Tunsil is set top make $2.149 million and $10.35 million this and next season. He's widely considered a top 10 player at left tackle. You have to pay to play. Getting a guy this young of his caliber was going to cost you. The Texans have plenty of cap space to resign him and Watson when the time comes. This'll give your franchise quarterback a chance to truly realize his potential by him not having to run for his life. Much easier to play quarterback alive rather than dead. Stills adds a more reliable target opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Should Will Fuller or Keke Coutee get hurt (it's inevitable), Stills is a vet who can be relied upon.
No more excuses
I believe this is where the excuses run out for O'Brien. He's got a left tackle to protect Watson. Stills adds depth to an unreliable receiver corp. Hyde gives them a big back as Duke Johnson isn't a banger and Miller is out. Sure they could use some help at defensive back, and they lost Clowney off the edge, but this will help bolster the offense. If the defense can be slightly above average, this offense should put up points. Colts, Jags, and Titans are all ripe for the picking. This team is now squarely taking aim at the top contenders in the AFC.
Ultimately I think these moves will work out. In totality, O'Brien managed to move Clowney, a motherload of picks, and some scrubs for Tunsil, Stills, a third rounder, and a couple scrubs. In order to get to where you want to go, you've got to be willing to take some chances and gamble. This is a huge gamble. It's as if he pushed all his chips in the middle of the table and said f--k it! Gambles like these can pay off huge because you're getting a proven commodity at your greatest position of need. Yes, it hurt to lose what they lost. But what good trade doesn't hurt a little? Some of us could learn something here. Risks are risks because of the potential backlash. They become rewards if they pay off. Weigh your risk versus rewards and make a move. Can't live life hoping and wishing. Fans clamored for offensive line help. They trashed the Clowney deal. Now what? Let it play out. I for one think I'm going to enjoy the way this works out. Either the Texans will ascend into a real contender, or they flame out and O'Brien is fired. I think it'll workout for the better. This fan base could sure use it.