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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
John Dillon

Trade bait: 3 Texans who could be on the move at trade deadline

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The Houston Texans have struggled in 2022, but have plenty of talent on their roster that might prove to be prime trade bait for other teams ahead of the NFL’s November 1st trade deadline. Given their early-season struggles, Houston will likely be willing to part with some of their more established players in exchange for draft picks or prospects who might help them in the future.

Here are three Texans who may find themselves on their way out of Houston in the coming weeks:

Linebacker Christian Kirksey

(AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

Kirksey is in his ninth season in the NFL and has had his share of ups and downs since the Cleveland Browns drafted him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. After starting for Cleveland in 2016 and 2017, he was among the league’s most productive players at the linebacker position, racking up 148 and 138 tackles in those seasons respectively.

He would level off in the following years due to injury and was eventually cut by the Browns in March 2020. A one-year stint with the Green Bay Packers and his subsequent release saw him land in Houston last season, and after seeing significant action for the Texans, he has effectively rebuilt his career.

At just 30 years old, Kirksey could be a solid solution for a linebacker-needy team that is looking for more experience in the middle of their defense. Though his durability could be a concern that might hinder his value, Houston is likely to accept any offer for him that might net them a mid-round pick in the 2023 draft.

G-C Justin McCray

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The loss of this seasoned veteran would be a big blow to Houston’s front five, but for the right price, any team that is looking to beef up their offensive line would be wise to make a move on McCray. As the season wears on, injuries and depth on the line are crucial factors in a team’s ability to make and compete in the playoffs.

McCray has only started one game for the Texans in 2022, and his contract is structured such that it would make sense for the team to trade him somewhere to free up some cap room. He will be a free agent after this season, so anything that Houston might be able to recoup for their investment in him would be a welcome addition to their stash of picks in next year’s draft.

LB Kamu Grugier-Hill

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Grugier-Hill has been a solid contributor on the Texans’ defense, even if unspectacular. He burst onto the NFL scene in 2018 as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and has started in at least one game in every season since. He saw significant time on the field for Houston last year and played himself into a nice contract that may have him in a position to take his services elsewhere to great effect.

The Texans would prefer not to scrap their whole linebacking corps for parts, but with guys like Grugier-Hill and Kirksey under contract as two of the team’s top-ten-paid players in 2022, it may be beneficial for all parties to give them a shot somewhere else. Whichever suitors might be interested in the pair of linebackers would gain valuable experience at the position that would come at a more-than-fair price tag against the cap, and Houston could gain valuable draft picks that will assist with their looming rebuild.

Fans will surely hate to see Grugier-Hill go, but if his departure were to make way for another premium talent next season, it could prove to be a prudent move despite the less-than-ideal loss of talent in 2022.

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