Interesting topics. A few weeks ago, the thought of trading or releasing Schaub would have induced the following from me -->
Now, not so much. The guy has been a shrinking violet the last half of the season.
He is pretty good when ideal conditions exist. Outside of that, he stinks.
For the Texans offense with Matt at the helm, it's absolutely vital that the running game is working well enough to keep the defense honest.
On the plus side, he is intelligent, works his tail off, knows the offense backwards and forwards, is usually accurate in the short and medium throws, and in general gets the ball to the correct guy on a given play. He is risk averse...sometimes too much but I do prefer that he gets rid of the ball rather than throws a ton of picks.
On the downside, his injury has taken him from an immobile guy who can at least avoid the rush and buy some time to an absolute statue. While he can at least "jog" toward the sideline, his footwork is such that he can't maneuver away from rushers any longer or so it appears to me. He is almost a ZERO threat to run, so defenses just need to drop 8 on 3rd and long and force Schaub to hold the ball until sacked, or force him to move outside the pocket and toss it away, or worst case he dumps it to a safety valve short of the marker. And since he can't run, the defenders just stick to their guy like glue. No need to have a spy or even have DB's worry about a running QB.
His arm strength has to be in the bottom 5 of starting NFL qb's, and how many times has AJ or another guy been running wide open only to have to stand there and wait for the ball to be delivered leaving the defender plenty of time to catch up. It's probably not too much worse than Joe Montana, but the difference is Montana found his guy earlier in the route and hit him in stride. Schaub waits too long to release the ball on those deep throws.
The last major problem I see is between his ears. It's anecdotal I know - but it sure seems like the bigger the game, the worse he plays (in general). The next two games will tell the tale on this I believe. If he comes back and plays like a good QB should in these types of games, then he can redeem himself. In short, the next two games are the biggest of his career and for his legacy as a long term NFL starter.
Those are his major two issues. He could also do a better job leading guys properly for better YAC as well. Too many times, he throws behind the WR, although as I mentioned earlier his accuracy overall is pretty good 20 yards and in so I'm not going to pick too much there.
As to his trade value, the big problem is here is a guy that's on the downside of his career now, coming off a major foot injury which is obviously impacting his play. Combine that with a contract that I don't think is currently appropriate for his play and I am not sure he has much value. Maybe a team like AZ would be willing to cough up a mid-rounder for him? I just don't see an easy #1 like some of you do. Not with that contract. Maybe if he would re-structure first.
As to Alex smith, I think he is Schaub-like in that he probably can't completely carry a team, but better and younger. He is a little better everywhere - a little better arm strength, a little better mobility, a little younger, etc. And yes, I have watched him quite a bit. He has really come on in the last two seasons, and personally I would play him over Colin K. It's close, but Alex is a guy (like Schaub) who doesn't make a ton of mistakes, and perhaps is also a bit to risk averse, but again give me that over a gun slinger that throws a 2 picks a game on average.
It's an interesting thought. Doubt it happens, but it's something to at least discuss if I am the Texans brass.