The Houston Texans were already facing a tough offseason thanks to Bill O’Brien and he’s now done nothing but dig the hole deeper staring down 2020.
Despite the fact that the Houston Texans eventually made the playoffs and even picked up a win over the Bills to advance to the Divisional Round, many people were not high on the long-term viability of the team when the 2020 offseason started. Put simply, since head coach Bill O’Brien assumed general manager duties, it had been one questionable decision after another.
Yes, O’Brien was aggressive in trying to improve his team to the point they could compete for a Super Bowl. But the issue was he was too aggressive. Whether it was trading multiple first-round picks for Laremy Tunsil, trading Jadeveon Clowney for only a third-round pick, trading that pick for Gareon Conley or trading another third-rounder for Duke Johnson, it was like he was playing on Madden with no intention of playing past the first season.
Of course, that’s not the case and the Texans have a long-term future to think about. So how they operated with limited draft capital but ample cap space this offseason was always going to be critical. And suffice it to say that O’Brien has done nothing to help public opinion about him.
More from NFL Spin Zone
The Texans head coach/GM’s biggest move of 2020 was the shocking DeAndre Hopkins trade. Dealing one of the best wide receivers in the league for a second-round pick and running back David Johnson looked bad in the moment and, of course, remains so. O’Brien took Deshaun Watson and Hopkins, one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duos in the league, and broke it up entering the former’s prime.
As if that wasn’t bad enough though, the Texans recently traded for Brandin Cooks, sending the Rams their own second-round pick. So when you break it down, the Texans dealt Hopkins for a washed-up running back (Johnson), Cooks and to move up 17 spots in the second round. That’s abysmal.
When you break it down, Houston got a running back that will help them marginally — if at all — while downgrading at receiver and just barely moving inside the top 40 selections in the draft. And that still doesn’t answer to the fact that their draft pick situation remains wholly concerning not just for 2020 but for 2021 as well.
O’Brien has 100 percent wrecked the Houston Texans this offseason. He undoubtedly started the job in 2019 but he put the finishing touches on this offseason. Even if Houston wants to switch things up offensive to become a more vertical offense, there’s no world in which Cooks makes them a better team than Hopkins would have. And the downgrade in talent came without any real payoff.
The fact that Watson remains an elite young quarterback in the NFL could still keep the Texans relevant for the playoff picture. But at the end of the day, this is a team that should have Super Bowl aspirations given their quarterback. And with what O’Brien has done, it would be among the bigger shocks in the league to see that come to fruition anytime soon.