Voice of the Fan

EDITOR'S NOTE:Texans fan Alan J. Burge will continue to write a "Voice of the Fan" column throughout the 2005 season. His latest installment is below. Alan's views do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

Unfortunately for many Texans fans, and many of the female persuasion, Jamie Sharper is no longer a Texan. Middle aged dude that I am, I don't totally understand the attraction beyond guy stuff like tackles and forced fumbles so I'll have to give them the benefit of the doubt on that one.

No, this wasn't a dirty April Fools joke. We were given ample warning a couple weeks ago that this transaction was going to go down. No one knows the full story but I'm treating it as the first cap casualty in the team's history. Sorry ladies but even Jamie with his ripped physique, cool dreads, stylish glasses, Armani and all that isn't worth a six-million dollar cap hit this year. Hey, maybe I do get it.

While I reserve the right to think that there was something going on internally, beyond salary, that helped this transaction along, the practical side of me comes back to the question of whether it's really in the best interest of the Texans to keep giving long term, multi million dollar deals to 30-plus-year-old players. That's usually not the recipe for long-term success and the Texans already have their share of guys like that on the team. Tough choices are a part of the deal in this salary cap era. Welcome back to the NFL, Houston.

Enough about that. Thanks for three good years, Jamie. We appreciate your efforts. You were durable and steady and a favorite of many.

Now, it's time for Texans fans to look ahead.

Did anyone else find it interesting that the news of Sharper's release came on the day that Derrick Johnson was visiting the Texans at Reliant? I'm sure it was just a coincidence. We could only dream that a guy like DJ could be wearing Battle Red next season, right?

Okay then, let's dream for a second.

What follows is a fictional scenario, one that could play out on draft day. A prerequisite for this fantasy is that you are familiar with the draft value charts that are purportedly used by GMs on draft day to calculate equivalent value of draft picks. If you're familiar with the draft value charts, great. If you're not, just type the words "NFL draft value chart" into Google and you will be up to speed within minutes. Whether the value charts are really used by GMs to this degree is beside the point. Remember, this is just a fantasy scenario.

So then, how in the world could DJ fall to us at No. 13 you ask? He won't. With the Browns needing defense and sitting at No. 3, it's a possibility that DJ doesn't make it past them. So the only way the Texans get him is to trade up – way up. And according to the value chart, it will be costly.

Most value charts have the second overall pick rated as 2600 "points." The Texans currently own the 13th pick overall – a pick worth 1150 points according to most charts. So how could the Texans move all the way from 13 to second in the opening minutes of the draft on April 23? Well, you have to give up something to get something. And what the Texans would have to give the Dolphins in this case, in addition to their pick at 13 would be draft picks totaling 1450 points on the value chart – the difference between the second and 13th pick.

One scenario could have the Texans moving up to the No. 2 slot if they give up their first round pick (13th overall), their second round pick (47th overall), and one of their two third round picks this year (73rd or 78th overall). And that's just for starters. That still leaves them about 800 points shy of an equitable deal according to the value chart. If GM Charley Casserly bets that the Texans capture the last playoff spot this season and register the 12th best record in the league - a possibility but not a certainty, that would give the Texans the 21st pick overall next year which happens to be worth 800 points.

So in that fictional scenario, the Texans get the second overall this year from Miami. In return, the Dolphins get the Texans' 13th, 47th and 73rd this year and the Texans first rounder next year (hypothetically 21st overall). The incentive for the Dolphins in this deal - besides picking up three extra Day 1 picks, is that the odds that the Texans first rounder next year is a higher pick than 21st overall are better than it being lower than 21st. In other words, the Dolphins are all over that trade. The incentive for the Texans is that they get one of the best players in this draft - a player who would make an immediate impact on the Texans defense.

There's only two good things I see in this trade scenario: 1) the Texans would get DJ, and 2) the Texans would still have a pick in every round this year except for the 2nd round. Thanks to the Drew Henson trade, the Texans have two third-round picks this year and they wouldn't have to part with both.

The bad thing in this scenario is giving up a first rounder next year. I'm not a fan of giving up multiple high round draft picks for one player and I'm hopeful this doesn't play out. Plus, if for some reason the Texans finish with another 7-9 record in 2005, that first round pick becomes even more valuable. The Texans balked at giving up two first round draft picks for Orlando Pace a few weeks ago so there's recent history on what limits they will extend to acquire Pro Bowl talent. The reality is there are still too many holes to fill across the board on this team to give up three Day 1 picks for one 'potential' Pro Bowler.

You can email the "Voice of the Fan" at: aj_texans@yahoo.com

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