We all make mistakes. I do, you do, general managers of our local sports teams do.
If each of the general managers of our major sports teams in Houston could get a mulligan on a free agent signing, turn back time and pretend it never happened, coming up with the list is not overly difficult.
The Rockets' Daryl Morey would probably love to have the Brad Miller signing back (especially seeing as the big, slow fella just became even slower thanks to microfracture surgery a couple weeks ago). Astros GM Ed Wade's list is more a progressive thing where Kaz Matsui begat Mike Hampton which begat Pedro Feliz which begat, as of this past weekend, Bill Hall. Murderer's row, and the murder victim is Drayton McLane's checkbook.
And then there's the Texans.
Of all the suspect transactions that dot the resume of general manager Rick Smith, to me, one stands out above the rest -- running back Ahman Green.
We all remember it, but just so I can thoroughly horrify all of you by ripping open a still-infected wound, in 2007 the Texans decided it would be a good idea to drop a four year, $23 million contract on a running back (Green) who was three years removed from his best season, and in the prior two seasons had played in a total of 19 out of 32 games. Also, Green was 30 when the 2007 season started meaning he was already two years past the age where featured running backs tend to fall off precipitously.
Nothing about this signing made sense at the time it was made, especially since the Texans' plan was to make Green the featured back and avoid another running back by committee situation like they had in 2006. Literally, the only explanation that made sense was "Well, even a crippled Ahman Green is better than Ron Dayne and Samkon Gado!"
Of course, the whole thing went sour quickly. Green started a total of six games in two seasons, rushed for 554 yards, and cashed over $10 million worth of checks. When the Texans decided to part ways with Green we were hoping that was the last we'd ever hear his name.
But the football gods are cruel and they had other ideas.
Green popped up in Green Bay the following season after DeShawn Wynn went down with a season-ending injury in October, returning to the place where he had his best seasons. It wasn't unlike Hulk Hogan, artificial hips and all, coming back to WWE for one last run at his place of glory.
Of course, much like a limping, over the hill Hogan leaving WWE for reality television and tours of Australia and being unable to walk away from the game, Green would follow up his NFL career by playing eight games in 2010 with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL. He wouldn't die!
After 253 nondescript yards in eight UFL games, Green signed this past March with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, and we continued to lament the punitive football gods, and wondered why they mock Texan fans. Again, he wouldn't die!
Well, Green's CFL career appears to be over before it started after he showed up to Montreal's preseason camp with his hamstring already freshly injured. The Alouettes hadn't seen anything from Green yet, and still they'd seen enough. It had to be somewhat perplexing to Green who in his two years with the Texans was able to show up to training camp with far more than just one lower body injury and was still able to swindle $10 million.
Consider this my open plea to the Arena League (which other than a sandlot game would seem to be the only place left for Green to go) on behalf of poor, tormented Texan fans -- please do not sign Ahman Green. Please let his memory and his balsa wood legs die a peaceful death in Montreal.
We have suffered enough.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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