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Texans star wants out of the Lonestar state

By Jack Beall–

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson wants to leave the Houston franchise, and he is in the right, despite signing a contract with them through 2024. The Houston Texans, in a matter of a year, managed to go from a team with incredibly high potential to having the darkest future in the NFL, and it all rests on the shoulders of their front office. 

At the end of the 2019 season, the future looked good for the Houston Texans. They had found themselves a young star in Deshaun Watson, they had one of the best receiving corps in the NFL with Deandre Hopkins and Will Fuller, and they had a very talented defense led by JJ Watt. Fast forward one year. This is all gone. 

Former Texans head coach and general manager, Bill O’Brien, decided it would be a good idea to trade Deandre Hopkins, a top-three receiver, to the Cardinals for David Johnson, a washed-up, injury-prone running back. This trade shocked the league, but more importantly for Houston fans, it marked the beginning of the end of the Texans’ future that once seemed so bright. Bill O’Brien was fired during the season with the team having major struggles. The only light in the entire season ended up being Deshaun Watson who led the NFL in passing yards. Watson signed a four-year contract worth over $160 million before the 2020 season, but now he is demanding a trade. 

Watson’s frustration is justified. Watson was sacked the second most times in the NFL this season, his offensive weapons were traded away, and he seems to have very little voice in team personnel decisions despite being the franchise player. He is specifically frustrated with their hiring of General Manager Nick Caserio without having any say. Additionally, Jack Easterby, a preacher, is the Vice President of Football Operations in Houston, and without football experience, he seems to be running the show for the Texans. 

Sack Statistics

The Texans, on the other hand, refuse to trade Deshaun Watson. I believe that they are making a mistake. Watson is incredibly reluctant to ever play in Houston again. The Texans have managed to find themselves without many of the stars they had a short time ago and with even less draft capital to improve as they previously traded away their draft picks. Although he is under contract, Watson may opt-out of the next season in protest if the Texans refuse to trade him. Opting out or locking out is essentially when a player refuses to fulfill their end of the contract because they feel it is unfair or the team is not holding up their end. One well-known example is former Steeler running back Leveon Bell. Bell was unhappy with his situation, so he decided to sit out for the season with the Steelers, and he ultimately signed a much larger contract with the Jets.

Also, the trade value of Watson is something that has never been seen before, so a swap may end up helping the Texans. Rumors are that teams are willing to give up three first-round picks and additional assets for the quarterback. This would be a historic blockbuster trade. With this type of capital, the Houston Texans may be able to move on from Watson and brighten their future. 

The first step is to begin listening to calls from teams like the Jets, Panthers, and Dolphins who are all in desperate need of a franchise quarterback and hold substantial draft capital. If they cannot work out a trade by the NFL draft on April 29, they will likely further irritate Deshaun Watson and potentially doom their franchise to another era of disappointment.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s report on the Watson situation

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