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Deshaun Watson Denies Any and All Texans Trade Rumors

With no trades, could the Texans add free agents?

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Minnesota Vikings v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With the NFL trade deadline approaching, the Houston Texans roster sitting with several gaping holes in some areas, and an overabundance of talent in others, it’s no wonder trade speculation is high when it comes to players like Kenny Stills, Randall Cobb, Brandin Cooks, and even J.J. Watt.

Unfortunately, this team is far from anything resembling a one or two player quick fix to go all the way. The Texans desperately need help in the front seven and the secondary, thanks to a defense that ranks second worst in the NFL through six weeks. Coughing up an insane 423 yards per game and a staggering 30.3 points per game, the days of the stifling Bulls on Parade exist only in our memories.

Trading a player or two to get a draft pick or a better cornerback than Vernon Hargreaves III, who currently ranks 105th out of all eligible cornerbacks in the league (there’s only 121 eligible CBs) per Pro Football Focus, with a 46.4 overall score, certainly seems tempting. Especially with 104 cornerbacks playing better than VGIII is right now.

DW4 says it ain’t happenin’.

That begs the question: if no one is getting traded, does that mean the roster stands pat for the rest of 2020? Or will the Texans and acting GM Jack “How Unpopular Can One Guy Be” Easterby bring in some free agent help?

Earl Thomas, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Eric Reid, Tramon Williams and Morris Claiborne are all defensive backs still on the street. We’ve beaten the Thomas and Reid drum so many times the head is about to break, but either could come in and immediately upgrade the defensive backfield. With Gareon Conley on IR and no sign of returning soon, relying on Vernon “105 or 121” Hargreaves is a fool’s errand. Looking at Williams or Claiborne makes a lot of sense.

Marcell Dareus, Clay Matthews and Terrell Suggs could all add a veteran presence to the front seven. At the end of the day, trading a current player wouldn’t yield a return better than any of these names unless Houston had a serious slickster pulling the trades.

With the playoff window all but shut, trying to force a roster rebuild based on the impending trade deadline doesn’t make a lot of sense. But bringing in a veteran free agent or two on a one year, prove it deal might at least add a few winning plays per game. That could be all Deshaun Watson needs to outscore his own defense.