This afternoon is the NFL trade deadline and while it doesn’t have the same activity as the other major sports it is possible to see one or more big names moved today. The Redskins have never been too active at the trading deadline, but here is one deal that I hope they make:
Washington trades DE Andre Carter to the Texans for RB Steve Slaton, WR Dorin Dickerson and a 4th round pick (Redskins might have to include a player like Barnes or Horton to even out the deal)
Why it works for Washington: I love Andre Carter and think he was a great free agent signing years ago, but he is completely misplaced in the Redskins 3-4. Now I know the latest reports have the Redskins playing Carter in primarily pass rushing situations with his hand down, but doesn’t make it any better really. You would have basically demoted one of your 4-5 best defensive players to a situational pass rusher, and turn him into a high priced backup. It is just a bad defensive system for Carter, and unlike Haynesworth, you can’t move him to a better position. The Redskins in return would get the speed back they were looking for this offseason in Steve Slaton. Slaton had a huge rookie year, but has struggled ever since. He would give the Skins another dimension on offense, and could be used as a backup returner as well. He excels at catching the ball out of the backfield and would be the perfect change of pace back for Torain. With Portis’ injury very much a question mark going forward (as well as his future with the team) Slaton would be a good fit in Washington. He is stuck at 3rd on the depth chart behind Arian Foster and Derrick Ward, and things will only get worse next year when rookie Ben Tate returns from injury. Dickerson is someone that the Texans might have a hard time giving up, despite being a 7th rounder and not making a catch yet this season. He is a raw receiver (he played his last 3 years at Pitt as a linebacker and a TE), but he offers incredible size, strength and athleticism. The Redskins lack of a big receiver is problematic, and with the exception of Brandon Banks the Redskins lack a true ‘young receiver’. Adding a draft pick would significantly help this team rebuild as they are already without their own 3rd and 4th rounders next year.
Why it works for Houston: The Texans have shown themselves capable of being a playoff contender, but aren’t exactly there yet. Houston has been looking for a pass rusher opposite Mario Williams, since Conner Barwin went down with an injury this summer. Antonio Smith is solid, but not a great pass rusher, and none of there retreads have shown anything this year. The Texans have generated 10 sacks this year, but half of those are from Mario Williams and most of the rest came against the Raiders (which is like stealing candy from a baby). With the Texans secondary struggling and their linebacking corps losing DeMeco Ryans, Houston needs to put more pressure on the quarterback if they want to survive. Carter would do just that, and would be a great compliment to Williams on the other side. Houston should have no trouble giving up Slaton as part of the return for Carter, and while they may bulk at Dickerson some, they are so deep at receiver that I think they’d go for it. While they would have to give up a solid draft pick, in all likely hood it would be at the end of the 4th round, making it somewhere in the 120’s. Carter is also under contract, and relatively affordable over the next few years, meaning this isn’t just a one year fix.
Analysis: Carter has a No Trade Clause, but I’d have to believe he’d waive it to go to a contender and to play once again in a 4-3 (opposite one of the best ends in the league no less). I don’t see that being much of an issue to this deal. The Redskins can make up for Carter’s presence with Lorenzo Alexander and Chris Wilson. Alexander has already replaced him in the base formation, and surprisingly generates a good bit of penetration. Houston, needs defensive back help, but the next best thing for them is to generate more of a pass rush to slow down their opponents passing attack. The Texans are finally competitive this year, after a number of years of mediocrity, I could see them making a bold move/statement to show they are legit, and adding Carter would do just that.