According to Adam Schefter at ESPN, the Oakland Raiders have agreed to trade a late round draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to the Houston Texans in exchange for quarterback Matt Schaub.
Schaub became expendable when the Texans signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a two-year deal Thursday night.
This trade may have two distinct impacts on the Jets. First, the Raiders were rumored to be one of the few teams interested in acquiring Mark Sanchez. With that possibility now foreclosed, the chances of trading Sanchez before the March 25 deadline may have just gone from very slim to none. I would not be surprised if the Jets announced the release of Sanchez in the next 24 hours.
A second possible impact of the Raiders' trade has to do with the rumored Jets interest in trading for Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph. The theory has been that Houston might be looking for salary cap relief, and Joseph presented some possibilities along those lines. It should be noted that the theory, in my eyes, was always a bit suspect. Prior to the Schaub trade the Texans had approximately $9 million in cap space, enough to sign their draft class and have some space left over for in-season moves. With most of the big money free agents already gone, it was never clear to me that the Texans needed more cap space in 2014. What made it especially unlikely was the fact that trading Joseph would only free up an additional $3.75 million of space for the Texans in 2014, while creating $7.5 million in dead money. If the Texans were for some reason desperate to create any space they could, they might consider this move, but in general, teams are not eager to create so much dead money for so little cap space. Now we have the Schaub trade, which will free up just shy of $4 million in cap space for the Texans. Now the Texans have $13 million in 2014 cap space, more than enough to sign any of the minor free agent deals they might like to engage in, sign their draft class, and still have a bit left over for in-season flexibility.
The reason for any Joseph trade from the Texans' standpoint just dried up. So unless the Jets bowl over the Texans with a trade offer, it would appear the Oakland trade for Schaub has decreased the already iffy chances of the Jets acquiring Joseph.