The Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans fought like worst enemies on the field Sunday, then the next day worked together like friendly allies. After a thrilling shootout, the Seahawks acquired left tackle Duane Brown from the Texans in exchange for future draft picks.
Duane Brown Trade Will Boost Seattle Seahawks Offense
Initially, the Seahawks agreed to send cornerback Jeremy Lane to the Texans. This plan fell through after Lane failed a physical for undisclosed reasons. Lane will now remain with the Seahawks, and the Texans will receive a higher draft pick than originally offered. In the reworked deal, the Seahawks will receive Brown and a 2018 fifth round draft pick. In exchange, the Texans will receive a 2018 third round draft pick and a 2019 second round draft pick.
New Deal Will Help In Both The Short And Long Term
This trade benefits the Seahawks because Brown will add experience and leadership to their young and inexperienced offensive line. Without Lane, the deal is less beneficial for the Texans, whose defensive backfield is vulnerable. Long term, keeping Lane will help Seattle who will eventually need to replace star veterans in the secondary.
The offensive line is widely recognized as Seattle’s Achilles heel. On Sunday, the Seahawks proved they are capable of high scoring when quarterback Russell Wilson is given adequate protection. After struggling offensively most of the season, Seattle exploded for 41 points against the Texans. Without defensive end J.J. Watt, who suffered a season-ending injury, Houston’s defensive line is relatively weak. This deficiency gave Wilson extra time in the pocket, and enabled him to connect with his favorite targets downfield.
Brown is a three time Pro Bowl lineman who will help fill gaps opened by the absence of injured tackles George Fant and Luke Joeckel. Even one strong lineman can help to improve this vital position. Even though the unit often struggled in the past, the line held steady until last year’s disastrous performance. Seattle’s offensive line played reasonably well until they completely collapsed after the loss of Pro Bowl tackle Russell Okung.
Stellar Quarterback Play Bails Out Lackluster Offense
Fortunately, Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league when responding to adversity. So far this season, Seattle’s line ranks sixth worst in the league in hurries allowed, and 15th in sacks allowed. These statistics would be even more disadvantageous without Wilson’s elusiveness and decision making ability. Wilson has the highest passer rating of any quarterback in the league when under pressure.
Additional Lineman Helps Both Passing And Running Games
In addition to providing extra pass protection, Seattle’s offense will also benefit from better run blocking. Even though the Seahawks have many solid running backs, they have been unable to establish substantial gains in the rushing game this year. Running backs Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy and Chris Carson (likely done for the year with injury) are all capable rushers.
Their inability to run the ball effectively this season is mainly due to the predictability of their rushing attack and lack of open running lanes. Opposing defenses know Seattle will attempt to run the ball on first and second downs because of their inability to establish a passing game. Many analysts have criticized Seattle’s running backs this year, but these players cannot be expected to carry the team like former star running back Marshawn Lynch.
Acquisition Of Brown Worth The Cost
Conceding future draft picks is worthwhile because the team would need to use those picks to draft offensive linemen anyway. With Lane remaining on the team, Seattle will be able to rejuvenate their defensive backfield once star defensive backs Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor retire. In addition to Lane, cornerback DeShawn Shead will soon return from injury after spending the first half of the season on the PUP (physically unable to play) list. The defensive backfield also includes several standout rookies, including cornerback Shaquill Griffin and strong safeties Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson.
Wilson has agreed to rework his contract to accommodate Brown, so salary cap space will not be an issue. The Seahawks have largely repaired their salary cap problems with more than seven million extra dollars available this year.
After many close games and dramatic comebacks, the Seahawks find themselves in good position to make a deep playoff run. Trading for a desperately needed lineman like Brown helps to cement their status as legitimate Super Bowl contenders.