The Houston texans have the resume of prototypical sellers at the trade deadline. Not only is Houston sitting at 1-6 -- tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars in last place in the AFC South -- but it is riding out the season with an interim head coach and general manager after the firing of Bill O'Brien earlier this month.
No one on the Texans roster appears safe except Deshaun Watson, who signed a four-year contract up to $160 million in September -- so he's not going anywhere. The rest of the roster is up in the air, as the Texans need to fix some of the damage O'Brien caused over the last few seasons.
Even though the Texans should sell, Crennel is trying to tell his players Houston isn't looking to trade anyone. That could be coach speak ahead of the upcoming deadline, but Houston's market will certainly open up as the Texans enter their bye week.
"I think players like the security of knowing that they're going to be on the team and they don't have to uproot family and move and stuff like that," Crennel said Monday. "So, with this situation the way it is, I think that it might be more on their mind this year than it would be any other year. I've talked to them and tried to reassure them that I'm not looking to trade guys, but human nature is human nature. Until the trade deadline passes, some guys are going to be worried and thinking about it."
Crennel seemed to imply the Texans are taking calls on some of their players, as there is talent on the roster contending teams would like to acquire. Receivers Will Fuller and Kenny Stills are entering the final year of their contracts, along with quarterback A.J. McCarron and cornerbacks Gareon Conley and Vernon Hargreaves. Houston favorite J.J. Watt also has a year left on his deal after the season.
The Texans are projected to be $7.4 million over the salary cap this offseason (per Over The Cap), and have seven picks in the 2021 draft -- none in the first two rounds and just one in the first three rounds. Houston will have to get high draft picks back if the Texans wish to compete in 2021, so selling players to the highest bidder is arguably the best move.
"I think because of the situation other teams might look and feel like that we are vulnerable and we might be willing to make a trade for guys," Crennel said. "But like I told the players, I'm trying to win games and I'm not trying to trade players. So, I want to keep as many good players as I can. Now, I know the record doesn't say that we are very good, and we are what the record says we are, but we do have some talent.
"I think other teams realize that and they would like to get their hands on it. But most of the time in this situation, they're offering peanuts and not offering legitimate trade value."