Once the lockout is over and the Texans come back to work, one of the key roster questions is what they’re going to do with their backfield. They will likely carry just three running backs on the roster but there are four candidates for those three spots. If Steve Slaton is the odd man out. He tells SportsRadio 610 he’d welcome a trade to another team.
The Texans three-year veteran, who is in Houston hosting a youth football camp, says if there’s no room for him here any more, he would like to be sent to a team that needs him.
“You have to,” Slaton said. “In this league, (a chance to play) comes and goes. You have to take your opportunities when they arise.”
Slaton made a big splash in 2008, gaining 1659 yards from scrimmage and scoring 10 touchdowns in his rookie season. He lost his starting job in a fumble-plagued 2009 season and had season-ending surgery on his neck. And Slaton spent most of 2010 as a kick returner and reserve running back, tallying just 19 carries in 12 games.
Despite his fondness for Houston, Slaton says he’s willing to move on if necessary.
“If my agent and the team feet they don’t want my ability any more, we could part ways on a good note,” Slaton said.
However this plays out, the 25-year old running back would rather hit the market as soon as possible since teams are getting a late start on free agency due to the lockout.
“You don’t want to be led along,” Slaton said. “Because as much time as we have lost – if that does come about – I need to be prepared as much as I can.”
Whenever training camp opens, the Texans may have the deepest backfield in their 10-year history. Arian Foster, who was an All-Pro in his first full season, is coming off a breakout year in which he led the NFL with 1616 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
The Texans are also eager to get a look at former two-round pick Ben Tate, who was expected to compete for the starting running back’s job before breaking his ankle as a rookie.
And the Texans also resigned Derrick Ward who averaged 6.3 yards per carry as Foster’s primary backup last year.