Don't buy that Henson jersey yet

When the Houston Texans selected Drew Henson in the sixth round of this year's NFL draft, some lauded it as genius, while others as folly. <br><br>The Texans took Henson, the former Michigan quarterback who was playing baseball at the time in the New York Yankees farm system, with the hopes that he may change his mind about continuing his baseball career and take up football again.

Now that it appears that is the case, the Texans and Henson's agent are starting to float rumors in an effort to create a trade market for the talented QB before next year's draft.

One of the rumors? The Steelers have called Houston asking what it would take to acquire Henson. Another? Henson has listed three teams – Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Oakland – as his preferred future employers.

Houston owns Henson's rights until the 2004 draft. Henson can work out a deal with the Texans, who would allow him to negotiate with other teams as if he were a free agent, or he can re-enter the draft and be at the mercy of whatever team selects him.

Standing in the way is the $12 million Henson has remaining on his baseball contract with the Yankees, who would likely love to dump the third baseman after he hit .234 with 14 home runs, 78 RBI and 40 doubles at Triple-A Columbus this year.

Would the Steelers make such a bold move?

It's doubtful.

Even though Henson would have battled David Carr - who ironically was taken by Houston - to be the No. 1 pick in last year's draft, he hasn't played football in three years.

And the Texans are sure to want more than the sixth-round pick in return that they used to acquire Henson's rights, just as Henson is sure to want much more than sixth-round money.

In fact, it's more likely the Texans will want at least one first round pick and another high pick for Henson's rights.

As the Steelers learned this year when they traded up in the first round for the first time in team history to acquire safety Troy Polamalu, that's a steep price to pay.

What also has to be taken into consideration is the fact the Steelers are going to have some other big needs in the draft – running back, offensive tackle and cornerback among them.

The Steelers could probably keep their picks and come out of next year's draft with at least two good players among the cornerback, running back, quarterback or offensive tackle spots.

Ironically, the Steelers could have just as easily used a low pick to take Henson in this year's draft. Pittsburgh selected Brian St. Pierre with the 28th pick of the fifth round this year. The next quarterback selected was Henson by Houston with pick No. 19 of the sixth round.

Steel City Insider Top Stories