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2015 NFL Trade Deadline: Brian Cushing Reportedly Available In Trade?

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The NFL trade deadline is tomorrow, and there's a report out there that the Houston Texans might be willing to part with one of their starting linebackers. BRB examines the rumor and possibilities, as well as the NFL trade market in general.

Jason La Canfora says Cushing could be had by another NFL team in trade.
Jason La Canfora says Cushing could be had by another NFL team in trade.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL's trade deadline for the 2015 season is tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3 p.m. CST. Unlike MLB and the NBA, there's usually very little, if any, player movement via trade in the NFL, especially in the midst of the season. Nevertheless, reports abound that several teams are letting it be known that some rather familiar names could be had in the right deal. For example, look at what's swirling around the Cleveland Browns. Joe Thomas and Alex Mack would instantly improve any offensive line in the league.

Meanwhile, your Houston Texans are the subject of a trade rumor of their own. As kdentify mentioned in yesterday's "Countdown to Kickoff", Brian Cushing is allegedly available. Jason La Canfora reports:

The Texans are open to moving former Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Cushing as well, sources said, though his rapidly declining performance mitigates any serious return for him.

Like the rest of Houston's defense, Cushing looked markedly better in yesterday's win over the Titans than he has at any other point in the season. That's surely not enough to convince a team to part with a real asset of value for him, particularly not with four more years left on his contract after this year.  While contracts can be renegotiated and NFL deals aren't generally worth the paper they're written on beyond the guaranteed money, Cushing's contract could be a stumbling block, assuming there was a market for him.

From the Texans' perspective, Cushing's theoretical departure, while definitely better for the team down the road from a cap perspective, would severely weaken an already debilitated linebacking corps. Benardrick McKinney is a rookie and has missed the last two games as he recovers from a concussion. Mike Mohamed is gone. Akeem Dent is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out of yesterday's game. Max Bullough was the Texans' primary inside linebacker next to Cushing yesterday. Max Bullough. Say what you will about Cushing losing a step, but this defense's problems in the middle of the field would be exacerbated if he wasn't around.

Of course, this is all likely little more than a thought exercise.  In-season NFL trades are rare, and it's hard to imagine another team giving up something of value at this point for the right to bring Brian Cushing on board.  Nevertheless, take to the Comments to discuss your thoughts on La Canfora's report, along with any other reasonable ideas or trade proposals you have involving the players currently on the Texans' roster or players employed elsewhere you think would be good fits for the Texans, along with what you'd be willing to part with to acquire said player(s).

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