Houston Texans Offseason Manifesto: Constructing an offensive juggernaut

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The first two pieces of this Houston Texans offseason manifesto didn’t serve as the source of positivity that Texans fans are currently craving. That was supposed to at least change a little bit with this piece. This was going to be where I gushed about the long-term potential of this offense, purely because of quarterback Deshaun Watson.

There aren’t enough adjectives to accurately describe just how gifted Deshaun Watson is. Franchises spend decades searching for a player of Watson’s caliber. A prodigious quarterback such as Watson is the most elusive find across the entire sports landscape. Watson is a master of the craft, and players of his pedigree do not grow on trees.

Even better for Houston, Watson signed a four-year, $177.5 million extension in September which represented a long-term commitment to the organization at the time.

At only 26 years of age, Watson is already a Top 3 quarterback in the league and is only getting started. Sure, the Houston Texans don’t have their first round pick this year, and they are also in a dreadful position with the salary cap. None of those problems seemed too bad. All of these issues felt temporary — the salary cap can be fixed with time, and Houston’s supply of draft choices will restock next year.

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This was all until Houston Texans’ brass broke one of the golden rules of team building. The enigmatic relationship between Cal McNair and Jack Easterby has shattered the relationship with the most important player in franchise history.

Even after the impromptu hiring of Nick Caserio as general manager, it still felt like the relationship between Watson and the Texans could be fixed. When players of Watson’s caliber are frustrated, you do whatever it takes to accommodate their needs. Perhaps I was oblivious to the severity of the situation, but in my mind, I imagined the organization was aware of Watson’s value and would admit to their mistakes.

Surely the two sides would find a way to put a Band-Aid on the situation, right?

With each passing day, that grows more and more unlikely. Credible reports claim that Deshaun Watson is at his breaking point with McNair and Easterby, and it is now possible that he could find a way to get himself out of Houston.

Houston Texans: Overview of starting quarterback Deshaun Watson

Until Deshaun Watson comes out and demands a trade or gets moved, I will continue operating under the assumption that he will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021. Players like Watson have always been untradable, so I’m still going to believe that the two sides will find a way to at least temporarily fix the conundrum that has been created.

Unless Watson demands a trade, there is not a single package in the world Houston should entertain for Watson. The spectacular play of Watson alone should help Houston remain somewhat competitive, even if the rest of the roster is relatively weak.

Watson was phenomenal throughout the 2020 campaign. His unbelievable play almost slipped through the cracks a little bit due to Houston’s dismal 4-12 record. But if there is one person that does not shoulder even a little bit of blame for Houston’s 2020 season, it is Watson. The 25-year-old set career highs in passing yards (4,823), passing touchdowns (33), completion percentage (70.2 percent), passer rating (112.4), and a career low in interceptions (7).

Deshaun Waton did all this while the Houston Texans front office traded standout receiver DeAndre Hopkins during the offseason and also had to navigate the last five games on the schedule without Will Fuller.

Watson is one of the game’s truly elite quarterbacks, and he can elevate the rest of the team around him. The presence of Watson alone could potentially put Houston on the path to a speedy rebuild if they get some other things right. When you have a quarterback as talented as Watson, there really is no ceiling for how strong your offense can be.