Drew Brees may not be the only veteran quarterback who completed a six-year contract with a new team without getting an extension.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, traded by the Falcons to Houston in March 2007, only weeks before a dogfighting operating was discovered on Mike Vick’s property in rural Virginia, signed at the time a six-year contract. Five are in the books, and the last one begins in 2012.
According to Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange, substantive discussions on a new deal have yet to begin.
Due to make $7 million this year, Schaub missed six regular-season games and the postseason after breaking a foot against the Buccaneers during the 10th game of the 2011 campaign. He also missed five games in each of his first two seasons with the Texans, starting all 16 in 2009 and 2010.
Though the Texans reportedly have no concerns about the foot, they surely are having a hard time putting the right value on a quarterback who turned 31 six days ago and who operates at a level or two below the best in the league. Coupled with the fact that the Texans enjoy a strong defense and a solid running game, the question becomes how much they want to budget on a quarterback — and whether Schaub’s assessment of his value fits within those parameters.
With T.J. Yates performing capably as a rookie in 2011, the Texans could decide to entrust the job to him after the coming season, especially since under the new CBA he can’t get a raise until completing his third year in the NFL.
The stakes actually are a bit higher for the Texans with Schaub than they were for the Saints with Brees, since the Texans’ most likely won’t be inclined (or even able) to use the franchise tag on Schaub, which would give him more than $15 million guaranteed on a one-year deal. So if the Texans can’t sign Schaub, Schaub likely would hit the market.
And Schaub eventually could find that the market won’t pay him as much as the Texans will.
Much of this would be sorted out during tampering season, when agents gauge the market to determine what a player would get if he becomes available. The Texans and Schaub can avoid all of this, if they work out a deal before the season ends.
Given Schaub’s injury history and the kick that often comes from being in a contract year, the smart move for the Texans could be to wait. Yeah, it may get expensive. But it will mean the Texans had one hell of a good year.