NFL Trade Rumors: Baker Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo Could Be Texans Targets After Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 28, 2022

CLEVELAND, OHIO - NOVEMBER 21: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns plays against the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Houston Texans' most notable move over the next few days might not be happening during the 2022 NFL draft.

The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported the Texans aren't expected to target a quarterback in the first round, but he added they might be "in the mix" for Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo after the draft concludes Saturday.

Acquiring Mayfield or Garoppolo would be somewhat surprising if only because Houston appears to be heading into the 2022 content to rebuild.

After going 4-13 last year, Houston has traded away Deshaun Watson and spent a total of $108.3 million ($51.8 million guaranteed), per Over the Cap. The table is set nicely for 2023, when the team is projected to have $97.3 million in salary cap space.

Mayfield and Garoppolo are both more proven than Davis Mills, and either would likely raise the Texans' ceiling a little higher in the short term. The ceiling can probably only go so high, though, when Houston is widely considered to be near the bottom of the league heading into the draft.

In addition, Mills arguably earned the right to prove himself over a full season—one not overshadowed by the circumstances that surrounded Watson throughout 2021. He threw for 2,664 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and completed 66.8 percent of his passes as a rookie. All things considered, the third-round rookie exceeded expectations.

Maybe Mills isn't the long-term solution, but the Texans won't know until they put him on more solid footing. If the 23-year-old struggles as the starter in 2022, it likely wouldn't change much in the wider scheme of things.

Granted, trading for Mayfield or Garoppolo would send a pretty clear message about how the front office and coaching staff view Mills.