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Duane Brown Traded to Seahawks; Texans Receive Draft Picks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

Houston Texans' Duane Brown is introduced before an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Veteran offensive tackle Duane Brown is on the move after the Houston Texans traded him to the Seattle Seahawks, Houston announced Wednesday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter initially reported the move on Monday.

Initially Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was part of the trade, but after he failed a physical the deal was amended to include draft picks exclusively, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The Seahawks receive Brown and a 2018 fifth round draft pick, and the Texans receive a third-round pick in 2018 and second-round pick in 2019, according to McClain.

Brown spent his first nine-plus seasons in the NFL with the Texans, and during that time, he established himself as one of the team's best offensive linemen. He reached three straight Pro Bowls between 2012 and 2014 and was a first-team All-Pro in 2012 as well.

Brown missed the first half of the 2017 season while engaging in a contract holdout with Houston. The team activated him a day before its Week 8 matchup with the Seahawks. 

CBSSports.com's John Breech noted the holdout cost Brown a little over $3.87 million in game checks, as well as a penalty of nearly $1.5 million for missing Houston's training camp.

While Brown and the Texans mended fences to the extent he finally made himself available to play, his departure from Houston seemed only a matter of time—whether it came via trade or an outright release.

Had the Texans not worked out a trade with Seattle, Houston would've saved $9.75 million by cutting Brown at the end of the 2017 season, according to Over the Cap. Since none of the money in the final year of Brown's current contract is guaranteed, he would've counted for nothing against the salary cap in that hypothetical.

Team owner Bob McNair drew significant criticism from Texans players after he said the NFL "can't have the inmates running the prison" in regard to the player protest movement during the national anthem. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the comments exacerbated existing issues Brown had with McNair:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Texans LT Duane Brown held out this season & a key reason was his feelings on owner Bob McNair’s personal views, I’m told. This didn’t help

This trade represents a fresh start for Brown, and the Texans can move on from what is still an unresolved headache with regard to his extension.

That problem now falls in the lap of Seahawks general manager John Schneider. The fact Brown was willing to hold out as long as he did illustrated his desire for a new contract and strong resolve in his effort to get one.

Taking on that dilemma was seemingly worth it for a player who was is still a solid blocker.

According to Pro Football Focus' Louie Benjamin, Brown earned an 86.3 overall grade on the site for the 2016 season, which ranked 14th among qualified offensive tackles. He missed the first four games of that year after suffering a quad injury in January 2016.

Even if Brown takes a slight step backward in 2017, he still represents a big upgrade to Seattle's offensive line. The Seahawks rank 25th in adjusted line yards and 19th in adjusted sack rate, according to Football Outsiders.

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