I think all of us would consider DeMeco Ryans to be one of our favorite Texans, if not our outright favorite Texan. Well, he’s gone.
“Cap” as the players call him (short for Captain) is headed to Philadelphia for the Eagles fourth round draft pick (fourth pick in the fourth round), and a swap of third-rounders that will allow Houston to move up 12 spots in the third round.
It is a bit of a shock, but now that the initial jolt has worn off, here’s my reaction.
Trading DeMeco makes good economic sense, and even good football sense. Now – in the locker room, it’s a disaster. Players will hate this move – more than they hated the cutting of Eric Winston… but they’ll get over it, they’re professionals.
I’m a FIRM believer in the sports world that you are always better off getting rid of a player a little too early, rather than a little too late. This would certainly apply to DeMeco. He had a major injury in 2010, and didn’t look like himself until the latter part of 2011. He may continue to play at a high level, or he may regress. He could suffer another major injury. That’s not a reason to unload him – however, the reality is that IF DeMeco had made it to the regular season THIS year, it’s an absolute LOCK that he would have been cut this time next year with all the contracts coming up. You lose an effective player, and a team leader – but you get something in return for him.
Veteran players don’t return much in trade in the NFL. A high fourth-rounder and a 12-slot move up in the third is hardly a boon, but the Texans didn’t get “fleeced” as many are suggesting.
For DeMeco himself, it’s a good move for his career. He was by no means ineffective in the Texans new 3-4 defense, but he is certainly more effective in the 4-3. He will be tremendous in Philadelphia as long as he stays healthy.
The Texans are having quite an offseason. Some things good, some not so good. Three core players from their fantastic 2006 draft – Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, and Eric Winston – all gone in the span of a week. Tough to get used to, but this is what it’s like to play with the big boys. Tough, unpopular decisions have to be made as the Texans prepare for the draft and for big contracts in the next few years for Duane Brown, Connor Barwin, Matt Schaub, Brian Cushing, and Kareem Ja– okay I couldn’t get that one out.
So let’s catch up.
2011 RT, Eric Winston – 2012 RT, likely Rashad Butler
2011 RG, Mike Brisiel – 2012 RG, Antoine Caldwell?
2011 FB, Lawrence Vickers – 2012 FB, James Casey? Free Agent? Draft?
2011 OLB, Mario Williams – 2012 OLB, likely Brooks Reed
2011 ILB, DeMeco Ryans – 2012 ILB, Daryl Sharpton? Free Agent? Draft?
2011 half-starter CB Jason Allen – 2012 full-time CB Kareem Jackson? *HORF*
Man, this one hurts, but once the shock wears off and you think about it – it’s the right call. The Texans will be better for it.