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Houston Texans Receive a Third and Sixth Round Pick for Bradley Roby from New Orleans Saints

Who needs a secondary anyway?

NFL: JAN 04 AFC Wild Card - Bills at Texans Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bradley Roby was easily the best cornerback on the Texans’ roster. Note the use of the past tense in the preceding sentence, as Roby was traded to the Saints this morning.

As of the drafting of this post, we do not yet know what the Texans received in return for Roby. Presumably it’s a draft pick or two, but it remains to be seen what round(s) said pick(s) are from. We do, however, know that Roby’s departure clears more than $9.2 million in cap space in 2021 (plus millions more in 2022) as the Texans will no longer be responsible for the last two years of the extension Roby signed in March of 2020.

There’s no way to spin this as a positive move for the Texans when it comes to winning games in 2021. They were going to be awful before this, and losing Roby exposes a bare secondary even further. I mean, Vernon Hargreaves III could very well have been a starting cornerback for Houston against the Jaguars on Sunday; Roby’s departure virtually guarantees that’ll be the case, which in turn assures that the Texans will be as vulnerable against the pass as they’ve ever been.

But rational followers of the Texans know it’s never been about winning games this year; it’s about positioning the team to be better in the future. Assuming Nick Caserio receives a real draft asset (is a third rounder too much to ask?) in this deal, I can support the decision. What say you?

UPDATE: While the Texans appear to have settled on shipping Roby to New Orleans, what they’ll be getting back remains unknown (or at least not public).

UPDATE II: The Texans are reportedly going to be paying a good chunk of Roby’s salary this year, which will allegedly lead to multiple draft picks coming to Houston from New Orleans.

UPDATE III: And there it is. The Texans will receive a 2022 third round pick and a conditional pick in the 2023 NFL Draft from the Saints in the trade.

UPDATE IV: That conditional pick in 2023 is a sixth-rounder.