HOUSTON -- Texans general manager Rick Smith said he thinks the team could have gotten a pick by trading quarterback Brian Hoyer.
That begs the question of why they didn't wait for that to develop, rather than releasing last year's starting quarterback as they did this past Monday.
Smith used the phrase "in fairness to him" but later said releasing him when they did was the right decision for both Hoyer and for the team.
"There may have been some value there for us organizationally, but we felt like this was the right time," Smith said.
That they made the move when they did gave Hoyer an opportunity to start talking with other teams. He's met with the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos, though no deal seems imminent. It gave the Texans a chance to move on and avoid the awkwardness of having Hoyer in the building during their offseason conditioning program.
The Texans did want to trade Hoyer, but it's more likely an opportunity to do that would have materialized during the draft or at least closer to it as teams set their plans and focus on their needs.
Given their history, I thought the Texans had a shot to accomplish that. They've successfully traded quarterbacks Matt Schaub, Case Keenum, T.J. Yates and Ryan Fitzpatrick, all after it was abundantly clear each player's time with the Texans was finished.
Hoyer had another year left on the two-year, $10.5 million contract he signed in March of 2015. He began and ended the 2015 season as the Texans' starter, but the drama in between, caused in part by his mistakes, made his departure certain. His final act with the Texans was a five-turnover game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs. The turnovers made it impossible for the Texans to recover.
His fate was sealed even before the Texans signed Brock Osweiler to be their starting quarterback, but that decision made Hoyer an afterthought.