FALCON POINTS

Why Trent Williams to the Texans rumors make no sense

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It seemed like an innocent enough story that broke late last week. "Redskins trade rumors: Trent Williams move interests Cardinals, Texans."

Williams is a left tackle, and a damned good one when healthy. He has not been that for several years, but players of his ilk are hard to come by. Still, the Texans being interested does not make a lot of sense. They already have a Pro Bowl left tackle who they gave up two No. 1s and a No. 2 for in Laremy Tunsil, and a promising young right tackle that they drafted in the first round last season in Titus Howard.

Why the rumors?

For the first time in years, the Texans will have some stability on the offensive line, with both tackles, second-year guard Max Scharping and veteran center Nick Martin locked into starting roles. Zach Fulton, the other guard, is also under contract for another season. The story above seems to imply the Texans would want to keep Williams and Tunsil. In that scenario, Howard would presumably move inside to guard.

Why that seems silly

However, Howard was playing his best at tackle, so moving him does not seem to be a positive. In addition, Williams will have to be paid top tackle money, and Tunsil is already in line for that. Plus the Texans have little to offer in the way of trade. So Williams being on their radar in that scenario does not really add up. Investing $20 mil per year apiece in two tackles when you already are set there and have other needs? Not to mention giving up assets to get the second one?

Unless...

The other scenario is the Texans have decided they aren't going to pay Tunsil, which would be a huge mistake considering the investment they made to get him. He is also under contract for this season and can be franchised next year, so even if they can't reach a longterm deal, they would have him for two more seasons. But if they are choosing to move on from him and that would somehow be part of the deal for Williams...well, that is senseless too.

Williams is 31 years old, has not played as many as 12 games since 2016 and did not play at all last year. He will want a contract in the $20 million per year range, which is what it will cost to keep Tunsil, who is only 25 and has missed just six games in four years, just made his first Pro Bowl and has a year in the system under his belt. Not to mention the draft capital you invested to get him. Punting on him now for Williams would be just plain dumb.

Surely it is just a rumor...

And while the organization's direction under Dictator Bill O'Brien remains unclear, this is not something that seems feasible. So it has to be just a rumor, right? The Texans should be focused on getting Tunsil locked up long term, and filling some holes on defense in free agency. Another big OL contract - or replacing a younger player with a similar deal to what he is looking for - is beyond baffling. It would be by far the worst move of the O'Brien GM era and could set the franchise back years.

And let's be fair; as GM so far, O'Brien has not been bad. The Tunsil move looks good assuming they get him signed. The trade for Carlos Hyde was a win. Adding Gareon Conley for a third was a solid move. Trading away Jadeveon Clowney for pennies on the dollar was his one move you could look at say it was a bad decision.

This one would be significantly worse.

So far, in four big moves, O'Brien is 3-1. So the hope is this is all just speculation and the Texans have no real interest in Williams.

The top priorities should be a No. 1 cornerback, finding another running back to replace Hyde and trying to add to the pass rush. The Texans invested heavily in the offensive line last season, and that group looks promising. Why mess with it now?

Texans fans can only hope it is just a false rumor, one that has no basis in fact, because either Williams scenario would be a mistake, one the Texans can't afford and don't need to make.

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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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