Cornerback Phillip Buchanon, the Oakland Raiders first-round pick in the 2002 draft who had fallen out of favor with coaches and club officials in recent months, was traded to the Houston Texans on Tuesday night, ESPN.com has learned.
The Raiders received second- and third-round choices in this year's draft.
The Raiders have been shopping Buchanon for weeks and discussed a possible deal with the Washington Redskins during the past week. Oakland also has been attempting to locate a suitor for its other starting cornerback, Charles Woodson, but hasn't found any takers.
Buchanon, 24, was the 17th player selected overall in the 2002 draft. While the former University of Miami star had slipped in the eyes of the Raiders, other teams felt he still retained playmaking skills and return abilities. In 14 starts last season, he had 59 tackles and three interceptions.
Another attractive element for the Texans is Buchanon's youth and his experience in a system that stressed a considerable degree of man-to-man coverage.
The Texans already have one outstanding young cornerback in Dunta Robinson, one of their two first-rounders in 2004 and a player many felt was the best rookie defender in the NFL last season. Their other starting corner, 11-year veteran Aaron Glenn, will turn 33 this summer. The trade ensures the Texans are prepared for the future at one of the game's high-commodity positions.
In 36 appearances with the Raiders, Buchanon totaled 122 tackles, 11 interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He returned four interceptions for touchdowns, at least one in every season of his brief career. He is also a dangerous punt returner, averaging 11.0 yards with three touchdowns on 72 runbacks.
Buchanon still has two years remaining on his original rookie deal, with base salaries of $700,000 for 2005 and $800,000 for 2006.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.