ORLANDO, Fla. -- With a new head coach handling the roster he's building, Texans general manager Rick Smith wanted to offer something of a fresh start.
That was, in essence, what happened when they traded Matt Schaub.
"You don't go from being an effective quarterback playing at a high level like Matt did, and have one year where you just fall off, and can't play the game," Smith told me this afternoon. "It's not like Matt can't play. I think Matt can still play effective football in this league and I think that he will.
"To me it was the right time for our organization as we start continuing this foundation that we're building with coach [Bill] O'Brien and his staff that we did it in a way that we started fresh. I think that was best for him. That's why I worked so hard to find a situation that was a good one for him and a club that [understood his] value and worth."
That deal came together slowly as the Texans and Oakland Raiders, who sent Houston a sixth-round pick in exchange for Schaub, hashed out details. As it happened, former Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick became available during that process. The Texans, who had said they would sign a veteran quarterback regardless of any other circumstance, filled that void.
To me, the activity around the signings, re-signings and trades of veteran quarterbacks means teams are making sure they aren't put in a position where they're forced to start one of the rookies. Smith disagreed that it was any more active than normal.
"There's an importance placed on that position," Smith said. "If you have a good one you want to keep him and if you don't have one you're trying to find him."
In that process of trying to find him, Smith's view on the quarterback situation is similar to his coach's.
"There's some depth in this draft class in general and I think one of the positions that illustrates that is the quarterback position," Smith said. "A lot of people talk about the three guys -- Manziel, Bortles, and Bridgewater -- but there's some good quarterbacks out there, the whole group."