The Seahawks have acquired offensive tackle Duane Brown from the Texans, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Houston will receive cornerback Jeremy Lane, a 2018 fifth-round pick, and a 2019 second-round pick.
Seattle had been considered an ideal landing spot for Brown in recent weeks, so while the deal doesn’t come as a complete surprise, the trade still represents a massive talent shift of talent from the Texans to the Seahawks. Acquiring an offensive lineman was perhaps the most obvious move Seattle general manager John Schneider could make before tomorrow’s deadline, as the Seahawks’ front five ranks in the bottom half of the league in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate.
Brown will take over at left tackle for Seattle, a position that’s been bereft of a solid starter for some time. Rees Odhiambo, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft, had been serving as the Seahawks’ blindside protector following a season-ending injury to George Fant, but Odhiambo has graded as the NFL’s second-worst offensive tackle through eight weeks, per Pro Football Focus.
Brown, 32, should represent a massive upgrade over Odhiambo — the former first-round pick offers 133 starts worth of experience, and has consistently earned positive marks from PFF. He’s also been remarkably durable, with only 12 injury-related missed games over nine seasons in the NFL. And of course, Brown should be well-rested after missing the first seven weeks of the 2017 campaign in a contractual holdout.
That holdout was the primary driver behind Houston’s decision to trade Brown, as the Texans and general manager Rick Smith gave no indication they were willing to give Brown a new deal. Brown is due roughly $4.7MM for the rest of the season, and that will require cap space the Seahawks don’t currently possess (hence the inclusion of Lane). Brown is signed through the 2018 season with a cap charge of $9.75MM next year, though Seattle will presumably rework his contract.
Lane is earning a fully guaranteed $4MM base salary in 2017, so the Texans are now responsible for roughly $2MM for the remainder of the year. He’s also under contract through 2019 with base salaries of $6MM in each season. While acquiring Lane will help Seattle offset Brown’s salary, he’s also a much-needed piece for a beat up Houston secondary.
Although he had recently lost his starting role in Seattle, Lane has starting experience, including all 16 games in 2016. Lane, whom the Seahawks were shopping during the preseason, is probably best utilized as a slot corner, but he can also play outside. He’ll be valuable for the Texans in either role, as Houston is currently relying on two age-29+ corners in Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson (plus a recovering Kevin Johnson).
The Texans also picked up two draft picks in this trade, selections that will help them defray the cost of deals they’ve pulled off in the past year. Houston is already without its two top picks in 2018, having dealt them to Cleveland in order to move up for Deshaun Watson and rid itself of Brock Osweiler, respectively. While they won’t receive Seattle’s second-rounder until 2019, the Texans still managed to pick up draft assets while bringing in a possible starter in Lane.
On a macro level, the trade of Brown represents the first domino to fall in the offensive line trade market. The Eagles, who are now without veteran Jason Peters for the rest of season, were “monitoring” the Brown situation, and could now look elsewhere in their search for offensive line help, per Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).