I know it's still not official, but every news outlet seems to think it's a done deal. As such, I might as well rant awhile about it. The proposed trade between your Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons:
-QB Matt Schaub; and
-No. 10 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft
-No. 8 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft;
-Houston's second-round pick (No. 37 overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft; and
-Houston's second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
My initial visceral reaction, you ask? These could change with a good night's sleep (which, to be honest, probably isn't forthcoming as I toss and turn about how this deal will impact my fall Sundays for the next several years), but here you go:
- The Texans gave up one second-round pick too many. As I first stated when John McClain reported that a deal was in the works, the Falcons were going to demand a king's ransom for Matt Schaub. Schaub has been the apple of many GMs' eyes for the past couple of seasons, and the perceived uncertainty surrounding Michael Vick's future in Atlanta under a new coach only added to the notion that Atlanta would drive an extremely hard bargain. Which they surely did. Think about it: Houston gave away two (2) second-round picks (and swapped first rounders) for the privilege of acquiring a guy who has thrown 161 passes in his NFL career. Schaub's CAREER numbers: 84-161, 1033 yards, 6 TD, 6 INT, 69.2 QBR. To say he's unproven is an understatement, and Rick Smith just bid adieu to two (2) second-rounders (one of which is known to be early in this year's draft) for the guy. One of those picks, I get; Schaub is a hot commodity, and you're going to pay for his services. But I don't care how much you love Matt Schaub; losing two (2) second-round picks (and presumably two starters, if the Texans draft right) on a team in dire need of talent across the board is positively frightening. And the fact that Atlanta fans are rejoicing doesn't make me feel any better.
- For the package he commanded, I sure hope The Schaub delivers. The dwindling fan base in this town will turn on him awfully quick if he doesn't produce in a hurry.
- Any talk of Carr returning to the Texans should cease. I didn't think he was coming back anyway, but this is the unofficial death knell of his career in H-Town. Now it's on Smith to attempt to get a draft pick for Carr. That won't be easy. Every other team knows the Texans aren't going to pay Carr his ridiculous salary to be a backup or a third-stringer. Additionally, I remain incredibly skeptical that any team would want to absorb the obligations of Carr's current contract. It's going to take some real magic for the Texans to get anything for Carr, but rest assured we've seen the last of him in the steel blue, battle red, and liberty white.
- For all the talk about Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels competing for the starting gig, it ain't happening. Schaub is the starter. Sage is the backup. I thought Sage deserved a shot at starting, yet it seems clear by this move that management wasn't as confident in Rosenfels' ability as I was. Don't get me wrong...Schaub would seem to have a much higher ceiling, so he should be starting. But see Point Two again.
- Kubiak was less than enthused with any of the QBs available to the Texans in this year's draft crop. I'd like to think that includes Brady Quinn, but it may simply be that the Texans didn't think he'd be there at No. 8. Regardless, I view this trade as confirmation that Kubes wasn't wild about burning a second or third round pick on Kevin Kolb, Drew Stanton, Trent Edwards, and/or John Beck. Basically, Houston just used their second-round pick for the next two years on Matt Schaub. If he produces, it'll be well worth it. If he doesn't...
- Kubiak and Smith could take the fall. Last year's decision to pass on Vince Young aside, this move will define the Smithiak Regime. For all of the criticism surrounding last year's first round selection, there's no denying that the new management did nothing short of an incredible job last season, both in the draft and during the season. DeMeco Ryans, Charles Spencer, Eric Winston, Owen Daniels, Anthony Maddox, Vonta Leach, anyone? Based on the very early returns, the fact that Smith and Kubes liked Matt Schaub THIS MUCH makes me believe in the guy that much more. Maybe that makes me a homer. So be it.
- Moving from No. 8 to No. 10 in the first round isn't really a big deal. The Texans must have thought they could fill a need as easily at No. 10 as at No. 8, and they'll save money doing it. Now the question becomes who they'll target. If Atlanta was as hot after LaRon Landry as every mock draft seems to think they are, he may be their guy at No. 8. I have no idea who the Texans are targeting at No. 10, but Levi Brown makes a whole lot more sense there than he did at No. 8.
- No Brady Quinn in H-Town! Huzzah! I can cancel that order for a carton of bleach, as there is no longer the threat of me guzzling several bottles worth when I heard "With the eighth pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame" on April 28th. Hell, I'm already a huge Schaub guy simply because of the whole "I won't have to off myself" vibe that his arrival brings.
- For better or for worse, Matt Schaub is now our guy, Houston. To paraphrase Shake's sig line--we can criticize the trade all we want, but we should embrace the player. Especially since he's not Brady Quinn.