How each NFL deadline trade affects playoff race

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 01: Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 01: Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald /
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SEATTLE, WA – OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Deshaun Watson
SEATTLE, WA – OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Deshaun Watson /

The Duane Brown deal

Trade parameters: The Seattle Seahawks trade a second and third round choice in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Houston Texans for Duane Brown and a 2018 fifth round pick in return.

In terms of overall grades, it’s hard to not love the amended deal for the Houston Texans in terms of draft assets gained getting a second and a third for an old offensive tackle. However, that old tackle has some tread left on the tires and, at this point, the Texans are going to need anything with mileage left to protect their best asset on offense in Deshaun Watson.

The Kansas City Chiefs know firsthand that forcing Watson to make mistakes because his offensive line is a bunch of turnstiles is the way to beat them. Watson is making headlines for throwing a record number of touchdowns this early in his career, but he’s also the anti-Alex Smith, fumbling the ball and tossing interceptions like “there’s always next drive.”

Brown represented the Texans best ability to keep pass rushers at bay for the second half of the season. Defense wins championships, which means the Texans need reliable linemen who can buy precious milliseconds for Watson to work his magic. Instead, they swapped their single best lineman for future picks.

Again, a second and third would be hard to pass up for any team when offered that much for a 32-year-old offensive tackle, but such is the price these days for quality linemen. The Seahawks can feel much better about their own playoff hopes in the NFC while the Texans might have sealed their fate if J.J. Watt’s injury hadn’t already done that.