DeShaun Watson has requested a trade; Texans have zero interest in trading quarterback!!!
By Freddie Willis
For Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson, the latest events with the franchise became the final straw as the quarterback of the Texans. After officially naming David Culley the new head coach of the Texans on Thursday, and being introduced on Friday, recently-minted general manager Nick Caserio said the team has “zero interest” to see their starting QB leave. “(Deshaun has) had a great impact in this organization, a great impact on a lot of people, a great impact on this team.
And we look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him this spring once we get started,” Caserio said in his “recommitment” to Watson. Watson formally has asked the Texans for a trade according to his agent David Mulugheta. And has not been in contact with the team since Nick Caserio was named general manager nor has, he spoken with team executive Jack Easterly.
While the Texans did hire Culley, only one of three African American head coaches in the NFL (Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh) (Brian Flores, Miami), the hiring of Caserio as general manager without consulting Watson in addition to the Texans not even interviewing other candidates, specifically minority candidates contributed to the deteriorating relationship between Watson and the Texans damaged beyond repair. Texans owner Cal McNair has apologized to Watson for not having involved in the decision to bring Caserio in to be general manager.
In addition of other missteps with the Texans organization over the last few years that has fractured the relationship with the Watson to this point really started a few years ago when wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was traded to Arizona.
Watson and Hopkins were very close friend as both attended Clemson University. The move was made by former head coach Bill O’Brien who had the dual role of head coach/general manager.
After Watson signed his contract extension last year, he was emotional as he discussed how happy he was to commit to the franchise and the city.
“It’s just an amazing moment for me to be able to extend my career in a location, in a place, in a home, I would say, that my family loves, that I love,” Watson said in September. “I want to continue to dive into the community most of all and just continue to build my legacy, just build our legacy as a whole and do something that we’ve never done before.”
With the off-season occurring right now, all Watson has said for now that he wants out of Houston. The Texans do not have to do anything with Watson right now.
However, by virtue of his no-trade clause and the threat of being a non-performing high-value asset, Watson has leverage over the Texans. Houston, by virtue of having the NFL’s most prized asset available for trade in at least a decade, have leverage over teams wanting Watson’s services. If a team wants Watson, they should have to pay a fair market price for him.
The next important date coming is March 17th, which will be the start of the NFL’s new league year, that should be considered by all parties involved Watson, the Texans and Team X that will be quarterbacked by Watson to be a firm deadline, Why is that?
Because now that Watson has made it public that he wants out of Houston, the Texans need to start putting together the best roster that they can without Watson. That means luring free agents to a team (or keeping would-be free agents on a team) that does not have a lame-duck quarterback.
Likewise, Watson should want to be able to join a team that knows what it needs to fill in around the quarterback through free agency and the draft. Putting all these measures in place by the start of the league year benefits all parties the most.
The hardest of deadlines comes by April 29. That is the first round of the draft, and it would be actual business malpractice if the Texans get to the first round with Watson on the roster knowing well he is not playing for them in 2021 and beyond.
According to sources, Watson could be worth a some combination of three first-round picks plus other picks, it would be best for the Texans to at least know exactly what pick(s) they can get in the 2021 draft. Miami, for example, holds the No. 3 and 18 overall picks they obtained from Houston in the Larmey Tunsil deal, but their future first-round pick could very well be in the late 20s with Watson as their quarterback.
Very likely, Watson has a list of places he’d be willing to go. If he and the Texans work together on this as they should, he can allow the offers to come into Houston and then privately give his wish list to the Texans. Or he could provide that list to Houston first and let GM Nick Caserio get to work on the first and biggest deal of his Texans’ career.
By virtue of his no-trade clause and the threat of being a non-performing high-value asset, Watson has leverage over the Texans. The Texans, by virtue of having the NFL’s most prized asset available for trade in at least a decade, have leverage over teams wanting Watson’s services. If a team wants Watson, they should have to pay a fair market price for him.
As many as 25 of the 32 teams in the NFL have expressed interest in obtaining Watson. Watson set career-highs this past season in passing yards, touchdowns and completion percentage. He also threw a career-low seven interceptions. His 33 touchdowns and 4,823 passing yards were also single-season franchise records in a season where the team went 4-12 and fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien after an 0-4 start.
Although he has played only four seasons (54 games), Watson’s 104 passing touchdowns and 14,539 passing yards rank second in Texans franchise history behind Matt Schaub (124 touchdowns and 23,221 passing yards in 90 games).
HOUSTON LEVERAGE WITH DESHAUN WATSON
*Can fine Deshaun Watson $95,877 for missing minicamp.
*Can fine him $50,000 per day for each day of training camp missed, plus salary.
*$620,000 — for each preseason game missed.
*If he retires, Texans can collect $21.6 million.