Deebo Samuel would be a great addition for Houston. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
The Athletic's Tim Kawakami is reporting that the Houston Texans have interest in trading for 49ers WR Deebo Samuel.
Guess a lot of people are just seeing this now. The reason I sent it last night is because I had a feeling something might break soon.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) April 20, 2022
-Major point: I don't know if 49ers and HOU have had talks or if that would be Deebo's 1st choice. But there's chatter that HOU is interested. https://t.co/PLgWTshzRG
This tweet on its own would be one thing, but according to multiple reports on Wednesday, Samuel has officially requested a trade from the 49ers.
Breaking News: I just spoke to wide receiver Deebo Samuel — and he told me that he has asked the 49ers to trade him.
He did not want to discuss specific reasons behind his request, but he has indeed let the 49ers know his desire to leave the organization. More to come.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 20, 2022
There's a lot to unpack here. The Texans recently signed Brandin Cooks to a contract extension, so they have at least one legit receiver, and we'll see how former 3rd round pick Nico Collins develops in his second year. Meaning, the Texans could certainly use a game-changing receiver like Samuel, and having the option to use him at running back from time to time would add a wrinkle to the Houston offense that it desperately needs. Of course, he would have to be willing to take some snaps at running back, which he doesn't seem interested in doing anymore.
What would the Texans have to give up? Well, the No.13 overall pick seems to be a starting place for compensation according to Tim Kawakami's tweet, but the other factors to consider are Samuel's main reasons for wanting to leave San Francisco, usage and money. Samuel wants a new contract, and we've seen the crazy money receivers like Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams have received this offseason. And Samuel is going to get a top of the market deal from someone, so why not the Texans?
Don't buy the BS that Bill O'Brien was selling when he traded DeAndre Hopkins for pennies on the dollar. He claimed getting a first rounder for Hopkins was impossible because the team acquiring him would have to give him a new contract. I know this is going to surprise you, but Bill O'Brien was wrong. And speaking of the Hill and Adams contracts, they both got paid and the teams that traded them received first round picks, plus more draft compensation.
The only way Samuel lands with Houston, is if the Texans trade a first round pick and give him a new top of the market contract. Let's say they do that. Is Samuel going to be happy playing with a rebuilding Texans team? Maybe, especially if getting paid is at the top of his priority list. But if winning is important to him, you have to wonder if he'll be asking for another trade sooner rather than later. Houston doesn't want another holdout situation like they had with Deshaun Watson.
One last factor to consider. The Texans could draft a talented receiver at No.13 overall, and have them on an affordable rookie contract for the next five years, and the player would be younger than Samuel. So this has to be something the Texans must consider before making the deal. Either way, as a Texans fan, I would welcome the Deebo Samuel trade. How many players on the Texans have a popular jersey in the team store? They have no star power on the roster, so there aren't any players fans are excited to root for on Sundays. A trade like this would give the fan base a shot of "juice" that is absolutely necessary right now. Plus, Samuel along with Cooks would give Davis Mills a great receiving corps, and help with his development. And if the Texans find out this year that Mills isn't the guy, well the next QB will need weapons to throw too also.
So do we think this will happen? My guess would be no, but Nick Caserio wants to add talent at receiver. The Texans were reportedly interested in trading for former Dolphins WR DeVante Parker, but he ultimately landed with the Patriots.
At the end of the day, it will all be about how much they have to give up to trade for Samuel, and if Caserio thinks he's worth it.
As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.
Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).
Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.
But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.
Cristian Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. He acknowledged that some of his struggles last year could be attributed to some extra weight he was carrying around in addition to the already-documented mechanical flaws he had.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) February 22, 2024
In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.
Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.
The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.