HOUSTON (Sportsradio 610) – Duane Brown’s exit from the team he played his first nine full NFL seasons with was all but expected as the NFL’s Tuesday trade deadline approached.
After returning from his seven week holdout which included the entirety of training camp and little to no communication as to what his contract demands were, Brown seemed to be designing an exit strategy from the Texans.
While Brown returned for the Week 8 matchup against the Seattle on Sunday, he was extremely vocal about his disappointment with Texans owner Bob McNair regarding his comments made at an NFL owners meeting and was seemingly was the leader behind several Texans players uniting to kneel for the national anthem.
The Texans shipped Brown and a fifth round pick in 2018 on Monday to the Seahawks for Seattle’s third round pick in 2018 and a second round pick in 2019.
While the Texans players and coaches still regard Brown as a leader despite his holdout, none seemed surprised at Brown’s exit.
“I have tremendous respect for Duane. He played very hard for us for the time that we were here and like you said, for six years previous to that. So, we wish Duane the best,” Head coach Bill O’Brien said at his Wednesday press conference. “We always try to do what’s best for the player and what’s best for the team. It is a business. That’s the nature of how the NFL works. Some guys get traded from one team to another and you move on as a team.”
As for Browns now former teammates, there are several who have played with him for multiple seasons in the Houston locker room including Johnathan Joseph.
“We’re going to miss him,” Joseph said when asked about Brown’s departure. “When you hit the locker room, when you hit the game field – that’s all going to take care of itself. You’re going to play and go all out. But, some of these guys are your close friends, your buddies off the field. I mean, you feel for them, but that’s part of the NFL life.
The Texans offensive line will now turn to Chris Clark to play left tackle. Clark called Brown a “brother” and that he sent Brown some text messages to thank him for helping him for the three seasons they had been playing together.
Clark wouldn’t say that the adjustment would be easier since Duane had missed most of the season to this point, but that the team is prepared to move on without Brown.
“His presence is always good, it’s a good thing that when (Brown) did come here. But, like I said, there were times where we had to do things without him when he was hurt and just situations,” Clark said. “One guy doesn’t make a team. We have to build on what we have and we have to keep pushing forward and that’s what we plan to do.”
No one in the locker room seemed to be shocked by the trade and most who commented said that the NFL is a business and that Brown likely got the result he was looking for.
“Nothing ever surprises me,” Joseph added. “Years ago when I was in the league, you see guys like Peyton Manning, all the top guys, you see those guys get traded, even Jerry Rice, all those guys go to different teams. So, I’ll never be surprised in this league.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio