Houston Forward Times

26 March 2014 Written by  Nicholas A. Norman

Texans sign Ryan Fitzpatrick and Release Matt Schaub

Since free agency began March 11, there have been stories nationally and locally that the Texans were trying to trade Matt Schaub, who carried a $14.5 million salary-cap figure and a base salary of $10 million this year.

Schaub’s career as a Texan came to an end as the Houston Texans traded him to the Oakland Raiders for a sixth round pick. “On behalf of the Houston Texans organization, I’d like to thank Matt Schaub for the contributions he has made to this franchise on and off the field,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said in a statement. “Matt and his wife, Laurie, have given so much back to the Houston community through their GR8 Hope Foundation and have really served as role models here in so many ways. We wish the entire Schaub Family well in the future.” 

“A fresh start can do a lot of things for a player,” Schaub said. “Last year didn’t go as I had planned, and I am excited about the opportunity here and the players on this team.” 

Raiders safety Charles Woodson, whose one-year contract was officially announced Friday, was asked his observations from going against Schaub over the years. “I think he’s had a very solid career. I think people look at Schaub and only look at his last year,” Woodson said. “I think they base his career off of his last year. But, I see a guy that, in my opinion, has been very steady.”
Woodson also said, “Schaub’s done some really good things throughout his time. Sometimes you just need a fresh start, a new set of circumstances to restart, to restart your history. Hopefully this is the place that he can get it done. I know he’ll help us win, that’s one thing for sure. A veteran player, he’s been around for a long time, and he knows how to win games. He’ll help the team win.” 

Schaub’s trade came after the Texans signed veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a two-year, $7.5 million contract. Fitzpatrick, who is getting $4 million guaranteed, counts $3.37 million against the cap this year. His contract means the Texans are $6.3 million under the cap. 

“I met with coach (Bill) O’Brien, and I like what he’s going to do with the offense and the direction (Texans) are going,” Fitzpatrick said. “He and I have similar views and beliefs about (offense).” 

Fitzpatrick made his debut as a rookie at Reliant Stadium, coming off the bench to help the Rams overcome a 21-point halftime deficit and win 33-27 in overtime. 

“I’ll never forget it,” he said. “I was a rookie third-string quarterback. I didn’t know if I belonged or if I could play, and when the first two guys got injured, I got my introduction right there. What a fond memory.” The Texans are Fitzpatrick’s fifth team after St. Louis, Cincinnati, Buffalo and Tennessee.
Texans GM Rick Smith, head coach Bill O’Brien, and quarterbacks coach George Godsey attended pro days for Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles. 

Since free agency began March 11, the Texans have re-signed tight end Garrett Graham, signed veteran nose tackle Jerrell Powe, signed Fitzpatrick and allowed seven veteran free agents to leave for other teams.