One year ago today, Bill O'Brien made a series of moves that reshaped the Houston Texans' franchise.
The Texans coach and GM shipped two first-round picks, a second-round pick, corner Johnson Bademosi and offensive lineman Julie'n Davenport to Miami for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, receiver Kenny Stills, along with fourth and sixth-round picks.
O'Brien then sent franchise-tagged Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle for a third-rounder and linebackers Jacob Martin and Barkevious Mingo while agreeing to pay $7 million of Clowney's tag.
The moves completely remodeled Houston's future, particularly after O'Brien later handed Tunsil a three-year extension worth $66 million in April.
The day before the anniversary, O'Brien was asked about the pair of big trades he made. With the benefit of hindsight, the coach believes they were the right course for Houston to take.
"Look, I think that was a day where we made some moves that we felt were in the best interest of the team, not only last year but moving into the future. I believe that if you look at the players that we were able to acquire or maybe -- whether it was a pick we used to acquire a player, I believe it made us a better team. I have trouble remembering my own wedding anniversary so I'm glad you brought up that anniversary. But look, I think that this year's a little bit different. I wouldn't expect us to celebrate that anniversary tomorrow with a bunch of trades, but you never know.
"But I do think that it improved our team. Did it improve it to where we want to be? No, but everybody is involved in that. Coaching, playing. We've won a bunch of games over that last couple of years, but we all know that us and the city of Houston want us to do better and we're working hard to do better. But I do believe that day made us a better team both last year and in some ways into the future."
Getting a franchise left tackle in Tunsil cost Houston a lot in draft capital and money on a new contract. Not having a first-round pick until 2022 hinders the long-term upside, but left tackles like Tunsil are few and far between.
The Clowney trade ended up a wash with Houston trading the third-rounder they received to the Raiders for Gareon Conley. One can argue that the Texans would have been better keeping Clowney last year, but the pass rusher still being on the free-agent market as we head into September underscores the difficulty in getting a long-term deal done.
The moves last year were O'Brien's first two big salvos after taking over complete power in Houston. The trade of De'Andre Hopkins in 2020 seems more questionable than the swaps a year ago. Perhaps on the anniversary of that deal, O'Brien will have a different perspective.