Duane Brown could still be traded

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Here’s a thought that debuted on Monday’s PFTPM podcast (Five-Down Territory edition), which officially counts as the first time I’ve promoted the PFTPM podcast today.

(Listen to the PFTPM podcast for more. Or keep reading.)

Although tackle Duane Brown has returned to the Texans (as predicted somewhere other than the PFTPM podcast), there’s a chance he won’t stay for long. The trade deadline arrives in a week, and it’s possible that he’ll still be dealt to another team.

How could another team trade for Brown if he has been out of sight and out of mind for months? It ended up being one of the lowest-profile holdouts in recent history, even though he ultimately skipped six games and seven weeks of the regular season. Unlike other potential trade targets (more on that in a second), no one has been able to see that Brown was still able to perform.

And while his return eight days before the last day to do a deal this year won’t mean he’ll be in midseason form, it’s something more than nothing. Which makes it a little easier (or at least a little less difficult) to make a trade happen.

The season-ending injury to Browns left tackle Joe Thomas also makes a potential Brown trade a bit more likely, since it takes away one of the primary pieces of leverage a team interested in Brown would have. Instead of trying to play the Browns against the Texans and risking getting no trade done, it’s a clear proposition — trade for Brown or don’t add a left tackle.

Monday night’s injury to Eagles left tackle Jason Peters also may increase the chances for a trade, since Philly could consider getting involved. The mere prospect of an eleventh-hour effort by the Eagles could also prompt other teams considering the move to make their move quickly. Likewise, with another slate of games looming before the deadline arrives, anyone thinking about trading for Brown may not want to risk another contender suddenly developing a need.

Of course, the Texans also have a need. But they have put together a dynamic offense without him, and the Texans continue to be missing a first- and second-round draft pick for 2018.

It’s unclear what the Texans would want for Brown, or whether his contract would be revised, either via an extension beyond 2018 or, possibly, an elimination of the final year of the deal and a chance to become a free agent in March.

While a trade remains simply a possibility and not a probability or a likelihood, a trade is definitely on the radar screen. Within the next seven days, we’ll all find out whether it happens.