DO THE TEXANS HAVE THE RESOURCES LEFT TO PULL OFF ANOTHER DEAL?

Texans: Ramsey a perfect fit, but what do they have to give?

Photo via:Jaguars/Facebook

By now the word is out that Jalen Ramsey wants a trade from the Jaguars and would love to play elsewhere as soon as possible. The word surfaced yesterday and social media was a buzz talking about where he could go and who would want the all-world cornerback? Texans fans came out of the woodwork to declare that Houston is the place Ramsey should want to be, and they will load up the truck for his move to NRG. There's only one problem, well actually a few issues with this possible trade destination and it starts with the fact that the Texans have traded away most of the assets needed to pull off a deal of this magnitude.

It would be great if they had a first round draft pick next year or the year after to entice Jacksonville to engage in conversations, but they don't. They gave those away along with a second round pick that would have been helpful, to get Kenny Stills and Laremy Tunsil from Miami. Don't get me wrong, both players help this team immediately and make them better, I just think the price they paid was far too high and is now affecting them negatively as they try to improve in other areas. The Dolphins just traded defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers for a future first round pick, a player that could've helped the Texans in a big way. If there was a way Fitzpatrick could've been added to the already consummated trade, it could've made the move more acceptable and beneficial for Houston. The overwhelming sentiment that experts had after the trade was made, was that the Texans acted desperate and gave away far too much.

Texans Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Composite photo by Brandon Strange

The same comments and grades that the team and Bill O'Brien received when they made the trade with Miami, they also got when they over paid for running back Duke Johnson. The Browns and Texans agreed on a swap for a fourth round pick that will turn into a third round selection based on Johnson's performance this season. Sources around the NFL thought that Johnson could've been had for a 6th round pick that would have elevated to a 5th. The point being, you added talent to the roster for this season but you over paid and that will cost the team in the future by the picks you gave up and the limitations it placed on the organization's ability to make deals this season.

Houston Texans player Jadeveon Clowney Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group

Aside from all the draft picks the Texans gave away in the two trades with the Browns and Dolphins, let's not forget another move that was made that didn't exactly bring back the returns the fan base had hoped for. It would be wonderful if the team had a former number one overall pick in the draft, a stud defensive end that was available for trade, that was playing at a high level and wanted a big contract the team wasn't willing to give out. You know the guy, Jadaveon Clowney, the guy they gave away for a third round pick and change to the Seahawks? The guy that conceivably could've at least got the Jags to the table to discuss an otherwise unlikely deal between divisional rivals. They could have proposed trading one disgruntled player for another to see if new beginnings for both players would be the formula for a win-win scenario for both teams. Would a trade have been likely, probably not, but it could've opened dialog and given the teams an avenue to explore options.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

There is not a lengthy list of quality alternatives, in fact there is not much of a list at all, but a Texans win at 7-2 Baltimore on Sunday would be the biggest road victory in franchise history. A win takes the Texans to 7-3 and secures the driver's seat in the race for the second AFC postseason bye. A loss means 6-4, and pretty much no shot at a bye. The quarterback matchup is spectacular. Ravens' second year sensation Lamar Jackson is probably running second in the NFL Most Valuable player race. Texans' third year blossomed star Deshaun Watson might be third (the Seahawks' Russel Wilson is on the lead).

His running is what has made Jackson a unique force this season. He's on pace to shatter Michael Vick's NFL record for quarterback rushing yards in a season by more than 200 yards. This game is one where the Texans figure to sorely miss J.J. Watt, and could really use Jadeveon Clowney. Oh well.

The Astros busy autumn, good and bad, continued this week. By unanimous vote Yordan Alvarez won the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Justin Verlander very deservedly won his second AL Cy Young Award, 17 votes to 13 over the equally (and maybe a wee bit more. Or less.) deserving Gerrit Cole. Alex Bregman settled for runner-up to third time winner Mike Trout in the AL Most Valuable Player Award balloting. Trout beat Bergman by the same 17-13 margin Verlander edged Cole. So by a two voter margin the Astros miss out on becoming the first MLB team ever to produce a Rookie of the Year, Cy Young winner, and MVP in the same year.

The General Managers meetings in Scottsdale Arizona this week produced next to nothing on the transaction front. The one something was something that if of a mind to spend the Astros should have been interested in pursuing, lefthanded reliever Will Smith to the Braves for three years $39 million dollars. The price of poker will be too high for the Astros on most guys this offseason. Next week there are owners meetings in Arlington, next month, the winter meetings in San Diego. By then major movement should have heated up on the free agent and trade fronts.

Fantasies can bring a little spice to life, but's let's put to sleep a couple of Astros related fantasies.

With Cole highly likely to become an ex-Astro, the need for a starting pitcher is glaring. Behind Verlander and Zack Greinke the Astros rotation is all question marks. Only a fool or the desperate would count on Lance McCullers for a healthy and very good season. Jose Urquidy is far from a given. Can't miss prospect Forrest Whitley? A huge question mark after two years filled with a PED suspension, injury issues, and plenty of lousy pitching. Whitley is still just 22 years old and could wind up fulfilling much of his potential. Banking on him would be dumb.

With all that said, forget any idea of a pursuit of Stephen Strasburg. The Astro World Series vanquisher won't get Cole money, but is likely to get 30 million per season for at least 4 years. There is no way that is in the Astros' budget. Mets free agent Zack Wheeler at 20 per? Doubtful.

Speaking of Astro World Series vanquishers, another fantasy is any notion of Lamar high school and Rice Owl-ex Anthony Rendon coming home via hometown discount. The Astros wouldn't be interested even with a discount. Rendon is joining the 30 mil per year club. So anyone thinking move on from brittle Carlos Correa, move Alex Bregman fulltime to short, plug in Rendon at third...that's really not fantasy, it's delusion. Correa is the Astros shortstop. Yes his track record of daintiness is troubling. His 2019 postseason overall was poor. But Correa remains relatively cheap, maybe eight or nine million next season. The Astros control him for two more seasons. Correa is still just 25, and really good. Cross your fingers about his health.


Then there was the latest Astros' ethical mess. Ex-Astro Mike Fiers has no motivation to concoct the story about the Astros' cheat of a sign-stealing system. The evidence has mounted that the Astros cheated. It's not as if the NCAA will vacate the 2017 World Series title, but in the aftermath of the Brandon Taubman fiasco it's another embarrassing black eye for the organization and another stain on this overall glorious era of Astros baseball. Does their moral compass truly grasp this? One particularly disappointing component would be if A.J. Hinch is confirmed as complicit with the scheme, especially after he was such a beacon of class during the Taubman mess. It's a humongous if. If yes, Hinch could also face a long suspension.

Buzzer Beaters

1. Machiavelli texted that the Astros have gone overboard. 2. Myles Garrett should have been arrested for his punk move Thursday at Mason Rudolph. 3. Greatest sports Rudolphs: Bronze-Kyle Silver-Tomjanovich Gold-Wilma


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