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Patience pays off for Texans with Schaub

3/21/2014

One way or another, the Houston Texans were going to take a massive cap hit this season because of the contract they gave quarterback Matt Schaub.

Schaub agreed to a four-year extension that averaged $15.5 million the day before the 2012 season began, one that cemented the Texans' faith in him as their starting quarterback then and into the future. It didn't work out, obviously. If it had, Schaub would still be a Houston Texan, not preparing for his first news conference as an Oakland Raiders quarterback.

At a certain point you reach this dilemma: lose him for nothing or lose him for something, however minimal. In this case, the Texans got a sixth-round pick in exchange for their embattled former quarterback -- a player everybody knew they wanted no part of in 2014. And they did it by planting just the slightest seed of doubt that they were, in fact, done with Schaub. Remember, those quotes from the combine about how no determination had been made yet on Schaub's future?

In a league where player trade values are nearly non-existent, a sixth-round pick isn't bad. And while it's less, pick-wise, than the San Francisco 49ers gave up to trade for Blaine Gabbert, the Raiders are also taking on a much bigger salary in this transaction.

The cap relief for the Texans was non-existent in comparison to if they had just released him. The Texans saved $4 million in cap space by trading Schaub, the same as they would have if they had cut him today. They still have to account for the $10.5 million in dead money they already paid him in 2012.

The cash savings of trading vs. releasing Schaub is also equal. The Texans won't have to pay his $10 million 2014 salary, nor any of the roster bonus money that would have come with him remaining a Texans quarterback. His guarantees ran out last season.