NFL Houston Texans

Houston Texans Rumors: 5 Best Trade Suitors For Ben Tate

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Houston Texans Rumors: 5 Best Trade Suitors For Ben Tate

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans need to do what’s right for everybody and trade Ben Tate. The deadline is coming up after Week 8, and he will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. What are the odds Tate wants to stay in Houston to be a backup when there are plenty of teams who would love him as a starter? The Texans have the opportunity to get something significant in exchange for losing their second-string running back for half of a season.

The team is a mess and they need to start thinking about the future. There may be some light criticism from those who see the move as bailing on the season, but that would be a tough to argument to make considering he is a backup. I think most would agree that this is the right move for Houston.

It’s also the right move for Tate. The third-year back deserves the opportunity to be a starter somewhere, and sooner is better than later. In his short career, Tate has compiled 1,489 rushing yards on 291 carries for an average of 5.1 per carry. He is also very capable of receiving out of the backfield with 38 career receptions for 198 yards.

Tate is way too good to be wasted on the bench. His average of 10.3 touches per game since being drafted by the Texans does not do his talent justice. There are several teams that are in need of a good running back, and it would be a huge mistake for Houston not to take advantage. Here are the top five candidates that should make a push for Tate.

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5. Jacksonville Jaguars

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This one is a bit of a stretch, but if the Jags trade Maurice Jones-Drew, they will need a replacement. Obviously this year is a bust for Jacksonville, but Tate could possibly be their back of the future. If they could get a long-term deal in place, he would be a great fit and the unquestioned starter.

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4. Pittsburgh Steelers

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Pittsburgh’s season isn’t beyond saving, but they need a boost to their 31st-ranked rushing offense. Every Steelers running back averages less than four yards per carry, and starter Le’Veon Bell averages 2.8. In a weak division, Pittsburgh is definitely still alive, but 61 yards per game on the ground isn’t going to get them anywhere.

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3. Dallas Cowboys

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Tate won’t be the starter in Dallas, but few teams need the insurance more than the Cowboys. DeMarco Murray is the most injury-prone running back this side of Darren McFadden, and chances are they will need Tate to start at some point. Murray's recent knee injury doesn’t seem to be long-term, but who knows if it will linger or when his next unrelated injury will occur. Tate would be a great pickup to not only fill in for Murray when he goes down, but to take some of the load off of him while he’s in.

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2. Arizona Cardinals

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

At 3-3, the Cardinals could make a push for the postseason, but they need a better answer at running back than Rashard Mendenhall. Arizona can’t expect consistent production on offense with an average of 85.7 rushing yards per game. Tate would be an enormous improvement from Mendenhall, who should not be a starter.

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1. Cleveland Browns

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The Browns could actually be a competitive team, but Willis McGahee is no answer at running back. The durability of McGahee has always been an issue and that certainly hasn’t changed with time for the soon-to-be 32-year old. Tate would be a major upgrade and could possibly be a long-term answer for the team.