Houston Texans Rumors: Five bold trades the team needs to explore

Jadeveon Clowney of the Houston Texans (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Jadeveon Clowney of the Houston Texans (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Potential Houston Texans trade target
Potential Houston Texans trade target Vernon Butler (David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images) /

Vernon Butler, DT, Carolina Panthers

The Houston Texans have had and will have one of the best defensive lines in all of football. Probably not the best as that likely belongs to the Browns after their recent moves. The team has already brought back Angelo Blackson and Joel Heath but they lost Christian Covington to the Cowboys.

So, there is a spot or two available along the defensive line that the team could fill either in the draft, in free agency, or through a trade. One guy the Texans could opt to target is Vernon Butler from the Carolina Panthers, a player the team was interested in back in the 2016 draft.

Butler hasn’t exactly lived up to his first round billing but, he hasn’t been a complete waste for the Panthers either. He started off in a rotational three technique role at defensive tackle with hopes of transitioning to a starting job.

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Unfortunately, he was never fully ever to get into a starting job and remained a solid rotational piece as the Panthers have had a very good defensive line his entire career. But, as he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal (his fifth-year option was not picked up), the Panthers may want to cut bait now before potentially losing him for nothing next offseason.

Butler’s stats do the opposite of jump off of the page. He only has four career sacks and zero takeaways or fumbles forced. But he’s still been fairly productive and disruptive. That being said, a change of scenery surrounded by studs like Watt, Clowney (potentially), and D.J. Reader could open stuff up for the former first round pick.

Butler could likely be had for a pretty cheap cost, a mid-round pick, and could have a tremendous impact on the Houston Texans defensive line. Worst case scenario, he’s a solid space eater across from Watt and walks in a year. Best case scenario, he provides a force on the other side of the that opens up lanes for the other talented players along the d-line.