The Houston Texans are bolstering their offensive line as they inch closer to the start of the regular season. The club is acquiring offensive tackle Josh Jones in a trade with the Cardinals, according to ESPN. Arizona is sending Jones and a seventh-round pick to the Texans while Houston ships back a fifth-rounder.
The 26-year-old was a third-round pick of the Cardinals in 2020 out of Houston, so this trade is something of a homecoming for the former Cougar. While he has 21 starts under his belt throughout his tenure in Arizona, he ended up being the odd man out along the offensive line, especially after the team used the No. 6 overall pick to select Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., who is now expected to man the right side of the line.
With Jones entering the final year of his rookie deal, it made sense for the Cardinals to seek some compensation for what could be deemed a short-term luxury depth piece behind Johnson and Pro Bowl left tackle D.J. Humphries.
Jones does have versatility that he can bring to the Texans as he has experience starting at left tackle, right tackle, and right guard. He started in nine of the Cardinals' 17 games last season and surrendered four sacks while being called for nine penalties in 622 offensive snaps played, according to Pro Football Focus. In both pass blocking and run blocking last year, PFF ranked Jones inside the top 32 among tackles.
Texans trade grade: C+
You can never have too much depth along the offensive line, especially when you have a rookie quarterback like the Texans do with C.J. Stroud. Jones has starting experience across various spots along the offensive line, including both tackle spots. That should make him an ideal swing tackle for DeMeco Ryans' team behind Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard, who both got extended this offseason.
Cardinals trade grade: B-
While the depth would've been nice for 2023, Jones didn't have a firm place with the Cardinals this season with Humphries and Johnson cemented at the starting tackle spots. With Jones entering the final year of his contract and no long-term use for him beyond 2023, it made sense for GM Monti Ossenfort to move on and attach a seventh-round pick to a player who wasn't going to have a significant role on the team to jump up a couple of rounds. Ossenfort clearly knows the Cardinals won't be a competitive team this season and that awareness and desire to stock up his draft assets is a savvy move.