The Falcons traded backup quarterback Matt Schaub to Houston for two second-round picks and an exchange of first-round picks in next month's NFL draft. The trade, initially reported by NFL.com, was confirmed by Schaub's agent, Joby Branion.
Schaub had been considered a possible alternative for the Falcons if Vick flops this season under new coach Bobby Petrino. However, Schaub was set to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2007 season, which would have become an obstacle in the Falcons keeping him long term. As part of the trade, Schaub got a new contract from Houston. He boarded a plane for Houston early in the afternoon and will take a physical when he arrives.
In exchange for Schaub, the Falcons received Houston’s second-round pick this year (the No. 39 overall) and in 2008. The Falcons also moved up from the No. 10 overall pick to No. 8 overall in the switch of first-rounders.
Branion declined to give specifics on the contract other than to say, "it's a real deal." By that, Branion implied that the contract indicates that Schaub will be the starter. Carr, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2002, continued to have middling to poor results last season.
Subsequently, Carr is expected to be traded or released. In five years as the starter, Carr completed 60 percent of his passes for 13,391 yards, 59 touchdown passes and 65 interceptions. The Texans had hoped that Carr would progress under new coach Gary Kubiak.
As for Schaub, he was a third-round pick in 2004 who showed promise in limited action. He has completed 84 of 161 passes (52.2 percent) for 1,033 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.
Over the past two years under former coach Jim Mora Jr., there was increasing discussion of playing Schaub over Vick, although the discussion never became particularly serious.
Since taking over the Falcons, Petrino has expressed reserved support for Vick, saying only that he expected Vick to take a stronger role in the calling of plays. Vick has complained over the past two years that he has not been allowed to audible.
With the trade, the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins are the only teams considered to have "open" quarterbacking jobs. The Raiders are debating whether to take JaMarcus Russell of LSU with the No. 1 overall pick. The Dolphins have had discussions with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green about a trade and have worked on trying to move up in the first round with an eye on Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.
- the Falcons