What's changed with Texans regarding Rosenfels?

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
A year ago, the Texans couldn't get themselves to take Minnesota's third-rounder for backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels.

Now, a John McClain report says they may be on the verge of accepting the Vikings' fourth-rounder for him.

What's changed?

I think there are three factors in the apparent change of thinking:

  1. Starter Matt Schaub finished 2008 big -- with a 3-1 record, five touchdowns, two picks and a 95.2 passer rating. Yes, he carries durability questions. But the team is more certain than ever that he can be a top-10 quarterback in a full season.

  2. Rosenfels was only 2-3 last season. He was the centerpiece of a spectacular collapse in a home loss to Indianapolis that left an ugly bruise. His numbers were not on par with what he did in 2007.

  3. This is the last year of Rosenfels' contract. The Texans can get a fourth for him now or nothing for him later. As they look to revamp their defense, boosting their draft pick total to eight could help.

If this deal happens -- and it can't until Friday -- the Texans will have traded a third-round pick for a fourth-round selection and an extra year of Rosenfels.

It's unclear where the franchise will turn for a backup, but it's got time to sort that out.

One other factor worth mentioning: In my time around them, I thought Schaub and Rosenfels had as good a relationship as any QB tandem I've seen. I think Schaub will miss his sounding board and be hoping his new backup is as compatible.

Be sure to check out NFC North guiding light Kevin Seifert's take on this from a Vikings' angle.