A BIG DEAL

Texans trade for Broncos WR Thomas shows changing attitude in NFL toward big in-season moves

Texans trade for Broncos WR Thomas shows changing attitude in NFL toward big in-season moves
Demaryius Thomas is now a Texan. Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

It was not that long ago that people would call into talk shows and suggest NFL deals, and they would be laughed off the air. NFL teams simply did not make major moves, especially in season.

That all changed a few years ago when the Colts dealt Trent Richardson for a No. 1 pick. Then the Eagles dealt LeSean McCoy. Earlier this year, the Raiders parted with Khalil Mack, perhaps the most disruptive defensive player in football, for two No. 1 picks.

The Texans got in on the action before the deadline Tuesday, acquiring WR Demaryius Thomas from the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round pick. It is the biggest in-season deal the Texans have made and it happened a few hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Thomas has lost a little at age 30 and carries a $14 million cap hit for 2019, but he is also durable and remains productive and offers insurance for the oft-injured Will Fuller, who was lost for the season last week. The Texans have a similar young player to Fuller in Keke Coutee, who has been effective when on the field but has been Fuller lite when it comes to injuries, playing in just four of the Texans eight games.

Thomas is a five-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl winner and has not missed a game since 2011. He was on pace for 800 yards with the Broncos - numbers that should go up with Deshaun Watson throwing him the football as opposed to Case Keenum. The trade also means the Texans will not face Thomas Sunday in Denver - a positive considering the injuries in the Texans secondary.

The Philadelphia Eagles also got in on the trading action on Tuesday, acquiring WR Golden Tate from the Lions for a third-round pick. The Baltimore Ravens added Ty Montgomery from Green Bay for a seventh. The unbeaten Rams also acquired pass rusher Dante Fowler, Jr. from Jacksonville for a third and a fifth.

The Thomas deal helps add a key weapon for Houston, and the price was relatively low. They still have holes at cornerback and the offensive line, but at least this trade fixes one main concern.

Thomas just missed 1,000 yards only a year ago with a mishmash of quarterbacks, something new teammate DeAndre Hopkins has dealt with most of his Texans career. He was one of the better wide receivers available, and the Texans snatched him up. 

The Texans last major deal was shipping two No. 1s to Cleveland to draft Watson, and dealing Brock Osweiler and a second-round pick to get the Ostrich and his albatross contract off the roster. 

Now they have gotten involved at the trade deadline, and the result is the roster looks a lot better than it did this morning.

 

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Astros defeat Marlins, 4-3. Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images.

Alex Bregman had three RBIs and his tiebreaking two-run home run in the seventh inning lifted the Houston Astros to a 4-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.

The game was tied at 2 with one out in the seventh when Chas McCormick reached on a throwing error by rookie shortstop Xavier Edwards. There were two outs in the inning when Bregman sent an off-speed pitch from Huascar Brazobán (1-2) into the seats in left field to make it 4-2.

“Our offense has been swinging the bat really well and swinging to good pitches over this last stretch,” Bregman said. “And today was one of those days that we didn’t really have too much traffic on the bases, but we found a way to get it done.”

The victory was Houston’s seventh straight at home and comes after the Astros dropped the final two games of a series at Minnesota last weekend.

Ronel Blanco (9-3) allowed four hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings for the win.

“He’s got guts,” manager Joe Espada said. “He goes out there, he competes, he understands what’s at stake and that we needed a good outing after losing a series in Minnesota... he gave us a chance to win and that’s what he’s been doing all year."

Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit a leadoff homer for the Marlins and Jesús Sánchez’s solo homer tied it in the seventh before Bregman’s go-ahead shot.

Chisholm singled with two outs in the eighth and stole second base. The Marlins cut the lead to one when he scored on a single by Bryan De La Cruz. Josh Hader walked one in a scoreless ninth for his 16th save.

Miami starter Trevor Rogers permitted six hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings before Brazobán took over.

Chisholm sent Blanco’s fourth pitch into the seats in right field to give Miami an early lead. De La Cruz singled after that before Blanco settled in.

He retired the next 17 batters, with six strikeouts, before De La Cruz walked with two outs in the sixth. Blanco then struck out Josh Bell to end the inning.

Jake Meyers singled with two outs in the second before a walk by Mauricio Dubón. The Astros tied it at 1-1 when Meyers scored on a single by McCormick.

Dubón doubled to start Houston’s fifth but was out on a fielder’s choice that allowed McCormick to reach. McCormick stole second base and the Astros took a 2-1 lead when he scored on a single by Bregman.

Sánchez tied it when he connected off Blanco on a shot to left field to start the seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander, who has been out since June 16 with neck stiffness, is playing catch every other day but isn’t sure when he’ll return.

“It really just depends on each step, so if it continues to progress the way I would like, hopefully it’s not too long,” he said Tuesday. “I don’t even know what too long means as I say that though. So, it could be very soon. It could be a few weeks.”

UP NEXT

Houston LHP Framber Valdez (7-5, 3.84 ERA) opposes RHP Bryan Hoeing (0-1, 1.99) when the series continues Wednesday night.

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