In today’s version of “Grade Day,” we will be grading the moves made by the Houston Texans. A couple of significant changes were made to the roster just a week before the Houston Texans kick off their season against Washington.
Trading for Ryan Mallett: A+
The Texans pulled off a big tradethat was rumored for a long time. They acquired Mallett from the New England Patriots in exchange for a seventh-round selection in 2016, but it will become a sixth-rounder if Mallett plays 40 percent of the team’s snaps next season.
This trade was a huge win for the Texans for two reasons:
1. The Texans gave up almost nothing in return. They gave up a low draft pick that’s still two years away from eligibility, and it was a late rounder.
2. Mallett could end up better than you think. Remember Matt Cassel taking over for Tom Brady in 2008, where the Patriots went 11-5? Mallett played behind Brady for three seasons after being a third round selection in 2011. Also, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was the offensive coordinator for the Pats in 2011 and got to work with Mallett.
If Mallett doesn’t pan out, then the Texans gave up almost nothing, and he’s slated to be a free agent in 2015. If he becomes a starter and a consistent one, then this could be one of the biggest one-sided deals in recent memory.
Releasing Case Keenum: C
It definitely made sense to release a quarterback, but releasing Keenum is certainly a bit questionable. Sure, Keenum didn’t win any games with Houston last season and played poorly in the preseason.
But as an inexperienced backup being thrown into the fire, Keenum kept the Texans in plenty of games he started, where they lost by seven points or less. Keenum is also only 26 years old, whereas Ryan Fitzpatrick, a turnover-prone quarterback his entire career, is still on the roster.
Fitzpatrick hasn’t done much to show he can bounce back at this point in his career, and it makes little sense to keep the almost 32-year-old over Keenum.
However, the Texans don’t need four quarterbacks on a roster. They have an experienced veteran, a three-year backup and a rookie. Perhaps there was not much room for Keenum on the roster.