- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Fans of the AFC South know the two are connected by a draft-day trade on April 25, 2004.
So it seems appropriate to look at how Houston and Tennessee did in that deal. Interestingly, Jacksonville was also tied in. Five seasons later, you wouldn't necessarily expect many of the eight picks involved to still be around.
The Texans got the 27th pick of the first round to get Babin, a defensive end from Western Michigan who Houston envisioned as the kind of tweener who could fit on the outside in its 3-4. The Titans moved down to the second round, 40th overall and got a super-athletic tight end.
Both turned out to be busts in terms of securing and stabilizing roles and making consistent long-term contributions. Babin just never found his niche and Troupe just never figured out how to be in the right place at the right time.
The Texans traded the fifth-rounder they got in the trade with the Titans to Jacksonville for two later picks. (Status notes a players' current team, team he was cut by this year or that he's been out of the league for a while.)
Eight picks, two guys left in the league five years later. Tennessee got the most out of it as Bell was a solid starter for three years.
Starks (five years, $21 million with $7 million guaranteed) and Bell (six years, $36 million with $13 million guaranteed) got free agent deals well beyond what the Titans felt they were worth. They might have kept Bell at a reasonable price. They were finished with the disinterested Starks.
The lesson in this whole deal?
The only way to win is probably not to play.