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Red Zone Play: Is Bill O’Brien Done Trading Texans?

With the NFL Draft just days away, the Texans GM is surely plotting something.

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The Riverboat Gambler of the modern NFL, Bill O’Brien, has beseeched fans, media, and writers alike to trust him as he apparently has decided to completely renovate the Texans’ roster this offseason.

Bill O’Brien:

“I think the best thing I could tell the fans is … I think we need to let it all play out. Let it play out, let it all play out, whether it’s that trade or anything else that we’ve done. Let’s review it a year from now, two years from now, three years from now. Let’s let it all play out.”

While it’s unclear how a fan base, whipped into a frenzy by the moves O’Brien has made since he took control of the roster, will respond to any more epic fails, the quote above sure makes it seem like this is only the beginning of more to come...for at least three more years.

Three. More. Years.

While Houston is rapidly running out of assets to trade, the rumors continue to swirl that O’Brien could/might/should trade away the likes of Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Kenny Stills, Will Fuller, and more. O’Brien himself has done little to dispel those rumors. In fact, it’s pretty clear he’s fanning the flames to some extent when he makes comments like this:

“Again, it’s very incomplete, we have several roster moves left to go, we have the draft and all those things so we feel very good about the value we got for the trade.”

In an era where no one expected Jadeveon Clowney or DeAndre Hopkins to get traded out of Houston, there’s not only precedent set for additional trades. There are logical ways to make these illogical moves happen.

CBS Sports:

[hypothetical trade] Patriots receive: QB Deshaun Watson, 2021 sixth-round pick. Texans receive: 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick, 2021 third-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, OG Joe Thuney.

With two of the three Watt brothers already in Pittsburgh, the odds aren’t too long that J.J. Watt could find himself suiting up for the Steel Curtain later, right?

When former Steelers greats are joining the charge to pressure J.J. to leave H-Town, the smoke could prove there’s fire.

Next up on the virtual trade block is every wide receiver not named Brandin Cooks. Some rumors have Kenny Stills saying goodbye to Houston. Others (including right here in this column) have Will Fuller headed for greener (and bubble wrapped?) pastures.

Letting Stills go so quickly after landing him last season would seem short-sighted at best. With very little time to learn the Houston offense, Stills managed to start five games and catch 40 of the 55 passes thrown his way (72.72%) for 561 yards, 4 touchdowns, and a 10.2 yard per target average. Keeping him should be a no-brainer, but so was keeping D-Hop.

The craziness doesn’t end there, with everyone from Whitney Mercilus to all of Houston’s draft picks theoretically up for grabs. Perhaps they could be sent to the Jaguars for Yannick Ngakoue?

In one of the latest seven-round mock drafts, Chad Reuter of NFL.com fame has Houston trading with the San Francisco 49ers to get one of their first round picks so Houston can move up to grab Notre Dame’s EDGE Julian Okwara.

PROJECTED TRADE WITH 49ERS. Bill O’Brien is not afraid to go after (or send away) players. If he hadn’t broken his fibula in November, Okwara would have received much more first-round talk this year. If the medicals are fine, the Texans will view him as a strong and agile edge rusher for the foreseeable future.

At this point it’s clear that anything and anyone might be available for trade in Houston. Except Bill O’Brien, that is.

While we all know this is the silly season for NFL moves, O’Brien has definitely put his hat in the ring for Mayor of Crazytown. One thing is for sure, we should all expect the unexpected. Even Duke Johnson Jr. can’t avoid landing in the mix.

Michael Luciano:

If Jacksonville can get over the fact that they would be trading him within the division, Houston has assets they have clearly shown they are willing to part with. Houston owns picks No. 40, 57, and 90 in this draft, and it looks like the going rate for Ngakoue would be something like the No. 57 selection.

Houston could also throw in a running back like Duke Johnson, who has since become redundant thanks to the acquisition of David Johnson, to sweeten the deal. That should be enough to create a hellacious pass rush of Ngakoue, J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus.

With that being said, what do you hope happens over the next few days? Want Houston to keep up the trade frenzy? Want things to calm down and have the Texans just draft some solid players and move on? Hoping against hope that Yannick Ngakoue finds himself in battle red? What do you predict?