Houston Texans: The Jadeveon Clowney trade is the worst in franchise history

Houston Texans chairman Cal McNair and head coach Bill O'Brien (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Texans chairman Cal McNair and head coach Bill O'Brien (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans have traded Jadeveon Clowney to the Seahawks but this deal has to be the worst in franchise history. Who did they get in exchange? Look.

The Houston Texans have ended the preseason and the waves of cuts continue as they pare the roster down to 53 men.  They’ll have to get things done by 3 p.m. CDT today and we’re keeping a watchful eye as to who those unlucky players will be.

The notable cuts so far have been Martinas Rankin, Josh Ferguson and Bryan Anger.  Rankin was a third-round pick from last season’s draft and didn’t quite live up to expectations that were set forth.  The problem was that they were trying to morph him into a tackle and he’s best suited to be a guard.  He did not have a good preseason performance but it’s still puzzling that they wouldn’t retain him to develop him some more.

Ferguson had trended early in camp but had lost traction once Karan Higdon and Damarea Crockett came onto the scene.  Either of the latter will be making this team and I’m betting that Higdon will.

Anger, who was signed at the start of training camp, had a heated competition with incumbent sophomore punter Trevor Daniel.  But Daniel stood up whenever his mettle was tested this preseason; and, as a result, he gets to keep his job.  I had written last week that his job was likely safe with solid returns on the punting front, despite some notable miscues.

But as the cuts continue, let’s talk about what will be regarded as the worst trade in Houston Texans history.

Yes, I’ve said it…

The Houston Texans have traded Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks for a third-round pick and linebackers in Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin.

Are you kidding me?  Read that sentence above again.  The Houston Texans got fleeced in this deal and Seahawks’ GM John Schneider knows it!

The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson had reported earlier today that center Justin Britt and offensive right tackle Germain Ifedi were being discussed to which I’d been okay with.  Both would fulfill a need and Ifedi, who’s a solid pass blocker, would’ve been a terrific insurance policy for Seantrel Henderson.  Britt is not as good as Nick Martin or Greg Mancz but would’ve been a capable warm body to help with depth on the offensive line.

But the Houston Texans got none of that!  They received two linebackers that aren’t even close to the level of talent that Clowney provided on this team.  If Bill O’Brien thought that he was getting two linebackers for the price of one, he’s sadly mistaken.  I think this trade will rear its ugly head, especially when the season starts.

J.J. Watt is going into the twilight years of his career and asking him to carry such a load is almost too much at this point.  The Houston Texans recently gave backup linebacker Brennan Scarlett a one-year, $3.75 million extension so I knew something was up in regard to this team doing the inevitable — which would be sending Clowney packing.

The prudent move would’ve been to have Clowney play on the franchise tag and if they wanted to trade him, wait until next offseason.  Now they got next to nothing for a really good player that has the potential to be great.

There’s no question that Clowney’s production is going to get better under the tutelage of Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

But let’s look at the numbers…

Pro Football Focus had Mingo graded out with a 56.0 defensive, 57.6 run, 51.0 tackle, 48.1 coverage and 67.2 pass-rush grade in 2018 through 544 snaps.  His pass rushing is close to decent but nowhere near Clowney’s sterling 78.8 grade.

How about Martin?  The second-year linebacker, a sixth-round pick in last season’s draft, was graded out with a 62.6 defensive, 53.1 run, 30.5 tackle, 72.5 pass rush and 48.4 in coverage.

Martin’s pass-rush grade was ranked second among rookies last season so Martin can be regarded as a solid pickup.  He’s young and has plenty of potential will get playing time on the defensive line right away.

All bets are off on Mingo at the moment…

But the overall package for Clowney reeks to the lowest of lows of hell and it’s hard to forgive the Houston Texans for making such a terrible decision.

I still think the Houston Texans should’ve held out for something better but I think Clowney ticked O’Brien off in some way and he wanted to do everything he could to get rid of him.  This is eerily similar to the departures of Duane Brown as well as Brandon Brooks, two damn good offensive linemen.

Clowney wants to be paid like Khalil Mack, who’s on a six-year, $141 million deal with the Chicago Bears.  That’s excessive, considering the money this team is going to have to spend in the future to keep their guys as in one *cough* *cough* Deshaun Watson.

I understand that O’Brien did not want to approve such a contract — I wouldn’t either — but to give away Clowney as he did is a fireable offense and I think it’s time to say goodbye to him if this season hits the crapper.  I liked how he changed the culture after Gary Kubiak but he’s run off two general managers and now he’s trying to run the team himself — and coach — to which has led to mixed results.

It’s even more of a discombobulation after the news of this trade was released!

Fans should be disheartened by this trade and it certainly wasn’t in their best interest.  But you know what?

The Houston Texans know people will spend their hard-earned money going to games, tailgating and buying their merchandise no matter what.  Even the 2-14 season back in 2013 didn’t change much in terms of team revenues and they’ve sold out every game for the 17th consecutive season, which is as long as they existed.  And that’s why the executive office signed off on this deal, despite the ton of question marks that are attached to it.

Houston Texans’ fans shouldn’t put up with this crap as it puts this franchise in an awfully embarrassing light nationally to which makes me feel embarrassed for being such die-hard fan of this organization.

There needs to be accountability from up top and this renegade type of strategy of running an NFL

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franchise is acceptable with the lack of checks and balances.  It’s basically O’Brien’s way or the highway so it’s now time for HIM to hit the road if things sour this season!

I’m still in shock about this trade and I’ll rest my case for now but I’m far from done for talking about the aftermath of this.  This still should be regarded as the worst trade in franchise history, I can’t think of a trade that this team has made in the past that was this friggin’ bad!

Let’s hope for the best…

Mingo amassed 48 tackles — 37 solos — along with 1.0 sack, three tackles-for-loss, two quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, one pass defended and one fumble recovery through 16 games — 14 starts — last season.

Next. Texans need to sign LeSean McCoy as soon as possible. dark

Martin put up nine tackles — seven solos — along with 3.0 sacks, two tackles-for-loss, eight quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery through all 16 games in 2018.

For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe to PFF’s EDGE and ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.