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Rick Smith: Texans “probably” could have gotten draft pick for Hoyer

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 16: Brian Hoyer #7 of the Houston Texans throws a pass during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 16, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

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When the Texans released quarterback Brian Hoyer, it was presumed that they’d been unable to get compensation for his contract, which was due to pay him $4 million this year. On Friday, G.M. Rick Smith suggested that the Texans could have traded him.

“I think I probably could have gotten a pick, honestly, but I think in fairness to him -- this was an organizational decision,” Smith told reporters. “Everything that we do and when we do it, we have multiple conversations about it and while there may have been some value there for us organizationally, we just felt like it was the right time to do it, and not just for him but for us as well. It was just the right time we felt organizationally and so we made the move.”

The only apparent reason to make the move right before the start of the offseason program was to ensure that Hoyer didn’t suffer a season-ending injury while running, lifting, and (eventually) participating in OTA sessions. If that had happened, the Texans would have been on the hook for his full salary.

If that wasn’t the concern, the Texans simply opted to do Hoyer a favor, letting him go at a time when he had a chance to market himself before the draft.