Trade deadline passes with no moves
Opportunity knocked, the Texans didn't answer
There was a mild glimmer of hope for Texans fans when the front office announced the firing of then-head coach, general manager, and overall oligarch Bill O'Brien after an 0-4 start to the season. The move signified-at least for the moment-that the Texans were interested in making moves toward becoming a more competitive franchise.
Any notions of that have since been met with a bucket of cold water.
Tuesday afternoon saw the NFL trade deadline come and go with nary a phone call to the Texans' travel coordinator.
No one's headed in, and no one is headed out.
It wasn't much of a surprise, however. Texans chairman and chief operating officer Cal McNair had been interviewed the day before and the rose-colored lenses were on full display with regards to his 1-6 franchise:
Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair in 610 interview when asked about trade deadline: 'No big moves. You'll see some little things. We like our players. We have a lot to play for.
I am extremely optimistic. I don't believe in giving up.'
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 2, 2020
There weren't even little things.
Still, there was hope that the message was simply a smokescreen and deals would still be discussed--which there were (we'll get to that).
Long shots to move were names like defensive end JJ Watt, and wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Others, like wide receiver Randall Cobb were mentioned, but none carried more trade value than wide receiver Will Fuller.
Through the most basic logical parameters you can do nothing but conclude that there is hardly a more sell-off worthy candidate in football than the Houston Texans. They're a 1-6 team with holes up and down the roster and zero first day draft picks with which to remedy the situation. The only way out of that situation would be to sell assets, build draft capital, and at least attempt to flip that into a first or second round pick.
To be fair, there were discussions.
The Texans wanted a second-round pick, but Packers never upped their offer from a fourth, so Will Fuller stays put. https://t.co/AG0vC7Qs3g
— Aaron Reiss (@aaronjreiss) November 3, 2020
It seemed like there was a number between 2 and 4 that could have been discussed, and may very well have been. But the tweet alone shows just how out of touch the front office is with team prospects and player value. Fuller is a capable wide receiver, but his injury history has restricted him to 42 games out of the past 64 in his first four full seasons. Fuller was never going to fetch a second round pick. No one on the Texans was.
The Texans should be focused on the future, not on trying to sneak into an COVID induced expanded playoff scenario. This team has played all of the actual contenders already. That's why they're 1-6.
Staying put at the deadline affected more than the Texans' draft capital. It could also potentially affect the talent pool with which they'll have to choose from among general manager hires. Having extra draft picks could have been a selling point to a potential GM as an opportunity to put their own legitimate fingerprint on the franchise from the start. It's still possible, but a tougher sell.
Instead, the Texans left their fans with the same reaction Fuller himself had leading up to the trade deadline: