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|Sign-and-trade seems unlikely|
The Texans can't trade Drew Henson unless he signs a contract, because you can't trade a player's rights in the NFL. And he'd have to be signed out of last year's rookie pool money (money allotted to sign all draft picks and undrafted free agents). It's unlikely Houston has more than a nominal amount of that pool left, but only the team and the league office would know for sure. No other team has money to speak of from last year's allocation, either.
So to be traded, Henson would have to sign a contract with the Texans for little or no money. They would then trade him to another team, which couldn't re-sign him to a new, restructured deal until after the 2004 season, which he would have to play earning the rookie minimum. Where is the motivation for Henson to do this? Sure, maybe he can somewhat control which team the Texans trade with, but is that worth the millions he'd sacrifice?
If he instead remains unsigned and goes back into the draft this spring, he'll in all likelihood be drafted in the mid- to late-first round. He will then sign a contract commensurate with that draft position and go to camp to prepare for the '04 season.
Maybe I'm messed up, but I don't see why he'd ever agree to sign with Houston and be traded.
My take is that all this talk is coming from the Texans, who thought they were smart in drafting him. I'm not sure how smart they really were, because this timeline has always been a possibility. For a sixth-round pick, you could say they had no risk and a potentially big reward if Henson had decided to make this move last summer. But the reality is that Henson holds all the cards in this deal, so it really doesn't matter what the Texans are saying.
At this late date, Henson is better off doing nothing.
-- Randy Mueller