A trade will allow the Jets to simply take on the final year of Fitzpatrick's contract, rather than sign him to what would likely have to be a multiyear deal. It also will reunite Fitzpatrick with Chan Gailey, the Jets offensive coordinator. Gailey and Fitzpatrick overlapped in Buffalo from 2010 to 2012.
More relevant for the Texans, though, is the fact that this trade will keep with what's become a tradition for the Texans -- getting something for an already-departing quarterback.
In the past 12 months, the Texans have traded away or for five different quarterbacks. They sent Matt Schaub to the Raiders on March 21 and T.J. Yates to Atlanta on June 19. They brought in Ryan Mallett from New England on Aug. 31 and traded Case Keenum to the Rams Tuesday. And don't forget, a trade is how Schaub came to the Texans in the first place.
More narrowly, they've managed to get something for all four of the quarterbacks they shuttled off.
The Raiders traded for Schaub at a time when just about everyone knew he was no longer wanted to be in Houston. They took on a monster contract that they then renegotiated, and hoped he'd revive his career in Oakland (he didn't). That draft pick turned into running back Alfred Blue, who became very important when the Texans were without Arian Foster at times last season.
Yates was already out the door when the Texans' phones started ringing. He'd been informed he was cut and had sent out the requisite melancholy tweet. Then the Falcons called and the Texans chose linebacker Akeem Dent off their roster. Dent became a starter for the Texans.
Keenum was expected to remain on the roster through the offseason, but his fate was shaky given the Texans were on their way to having Mallett, Brian Hoyer and 2014 draft pick Tom Savage on the roster. The Texans will get a seventh-round pick in 2016 for Keenum.
Fitzpatrick, though, was clearly gone. He started 12 games for the Texans last season, but the signings of Mallett and Hoyer (the latter should happen any moment now) displaced him. According to a source familiar with the compensation, the Texans will get a future draft pick that will be either a sixth or seventh-round pick for him, depending on certain conditions.
Free agency this year opened not with a burst of signings, but a flurry of trades involving big names. Haloti Ngata from Baltimore to Detroit. Jimmy Graham from New Orleans to Seattle. A swap of Sam Bradford and Nick Foles between the Rams and the Eagles. A trade from Fitzpatrick to the Jets won't be such a blockbuster, but it will fit the Texans' model.