By Peter Gleason
The Redskins says they definitely will not trade holdout Trent Williams.
And the Houston Texans may be inclined to move on from Jadeveon Clowney amid his holdout from the team.
The Texans’ pass-rushing specialist is set to become a free agent in 2020.
One ideal trade partner for the Texans could be the Redskins.
As currently constructed, the biggest need for the Texans is at the left tackle position. Protecting their prized possession, Deshaun Watson, should be the ultimate focus for Bill O’Brien and Houston in 2019.
Last season, Watson remarkably survived after being sacked an eye-popping 62 times. The 62 sacks allowed by Houston was the most by a team since the Cleveland Browns allowed 66 of them in 2016.
With that being said, the Redskins seem like the perfect trade partner for the Texans with Williams being disgruntled with his current situation in Washington. There aren’t many chances you get to acquire an All-Pro left tackle at this point of the season.
At 31-years old, Williams is still one of the best at his position and would help mend the Texans’ makeshift offensive line. Currently, Williams has remained away from the team during training camp due to being upset with the Redskins’ medical staff.
Throughout the whole dispute, Jay Gruden and the Redskins have been adamant on not trading Williams. Albeit, they likely haven’t received an offer with a player in the same class as Clowney.
As for Clowney’s situation, Houston has expected him to make his return to in the near future but if they aren’t keen on signing him long-term, then they have to consider shipping him away. Might as well get as much capital while they have the opportunity to, right?
However, since Clowney hasn’t signed his franchise tag, he essentially has a no-trade clause. Regardless of where he could go, Clowney will need to sign his franchise tag before he is traded.
Entering the 2019 season, Clowney is set to earn nearly $16 million in 2019. That is if he decides to sign the dotted line on the franchise tag that was placed on him.
The money he would make would insert Clowney into the top-grossing edge-defenders in the NFL this season. Furthermore, the only three players who are slated to make more in 2019 are Von Miller, Melvin Ingram, and Chandler Jones.
Unlike Clowney though, all three of those pass-rushers are currently on long-term deals with their current teams. Clowney witnessed both Dee Ford and Frank Clark command lucrative contracts after being traded to new franchises this offseason.
Therefore, wherever Clowney sees fit, the team has to be willing to shell-out a substantial amount of money to the Texans’ former No. 1 pick. As an illustration, Ford and Clark were able to negotiate contracts that pay them at least $17 million annually.
In today’s NFL, with it leaning towards being pass-oriented, pass-rushers are invaluable for every team. That’s why the Redskins should be inquisitive on the idea of acquiring a player of Clowney’s caliber before the 2019 season.
Over the past two seasons, Clowney has tallied 18.5 sacks, 37 tackles for loss, 42 quarterback hits, and three forced fumbles. Undoubtedly, Clowney has benefitted from playing alongside J.J. Watt.
There’s no doubt Clowney has held his own in recent seasons though. But the Redskins also have a formidable sack-artist in Ryan Kerrigan.
Kerrigan has been one of the most consistent sack-getters in the NFL with three straight seasons of 11 or more sacks. Adding a threat like Clowney would create a dominant duo for offensive coordinators to gameplan against.
If the Redskins and Texans are open to discussing a possible trade, Williams almost has to be involved.
A swap of Clowney for Williams would be a win-win for both sides.