On a day that sees many young men have their dreams of playing in the NFL crushed, for two young NFL players, they’ll see their dreams continue in different cities and uniforms.
Houston, in the midst of cutting their backup fullback Moran Norris, were immediately on the phones working out a deal for Bears fullback Tyler Clutts. It was rumored that Chicago was going to cut the second year player out of Fresno State and that he would be highly sought after via the waiver wire. So, to avoid losing their guy, Houston ponied up one of their young corners, Sherrick McManis, to the Bears in exchange.
The early criticism of the move is why trade a young corner who has been pretty solid on special teams for a guy who was about to be cut? No one knows for sure, but the rumor is that Clutts was going to generate plenty of interest from teams far ahead of Houston in the waiver process. Also, as evidenced by Houston later cutting safety Troy Nolan, who was also offered for Clutts, Houston is up against it when it comes to the cap and they’re shaving salary any way they can.
McManis is never going to be a starting NFL caliber cornerback, but as previously mentioned, he’s good in a pinch to be a nickel guy and is solid on special teams. He’ll be the essence of a project player for the Bears.
It’s easy to see how Clutts fits in with the Texans. Although James Casey is the starting fullback, the two will obviously be used differently. Clutts is the far greater run blocker and Casey is a superb pass catcher. But if you need a lead blocker that can blow his guy up now and then, Casey is never going to be that guy. With the team letting Lawrence Vickers go over the offseason, it was a position they hoped would be filled by an undrafted guy in camp, but that option never materialized.
It’s a move that makes sense for a team that has Arian Foster and Ben Tate running the ball a lot, it’s just odd that they’d be so willing to let a young corner like McManis go who is still making peanuts. Especially when the secondary might be the lone weakness in the Houston defense. Kareem Jackson will never live up to his draft status and after Jonathan Joseph, it’s just a bunch of guys.
Overall, I think it’s a trade that helps both teams, but Houston a lot more than Chicago. But if you’re going to cut a guy and someone offers you a player for him, you take the risk.