Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson, Davis Mills and QB questions in ’21
Though it might be the toughest topic for all Houston Texans fan this offseason, now is as good of time as any to talk about the elephant in the room, and that is the future of the quarterback position for this franchise.
The Texans still have Deshaun Watson under contract, but his offseason has been wild as the NFL passing leader from 2020 has requested a trade from the Houston Texans, and since then, there have been a lot of legal issues for the star quarterback off the field that aren’t going away any time soon.
As tough as it is to see all that is happening with Deshaun Watson, doesn’t it seem doubtful he’s going to play another down for the Houston Texans ever again? For starters, in requesting a trade it is obvious he doesn’t want to even be associated with the franchise, and now with all his off-the-field issues, the feeling from afar seems to be the Texans are starting to look ahead at a future that doesn’t involve Watson as the starting quarterback.
That brings us to the rest of the quarterbacks on the roster of the 2021 Houston Texans in early May, and those quarterbacks are all new additions to the franchise this offseason. The Texans quarterbacks are veterans Tyrod Tylor and Ryan Finley, plus 2021 third-round selection Davis Mills of Stanford.
None of those three were on the Houston roster during last season’s failure as a franchise when Houston finished 4-12 overall and were the third-worst team in the entire league. It was an awful season for the Texans, one of the very worst in franchise history, because of having a head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien fired after four games, and the rest of the front office at the time looking clueless as they had no answers for anything that was happening on the field.
Though nothing is set in stone, but Houston Texans fans should be prepared for a new quarterback in 2021, and here are their current options.
Houston Texans Quarterback Options: Tyrod Taylor, Davis Mills and others
It was a surprise to some when the Houston Texans selected Davis Mills, a Stanford quarterback, with the 67th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on Day 2 of the draft nearly two weeks ago. New head coach David Culley and new general manager Nick Caserio seem to be covering their bases for the ’21 season at quarterback by not only drafting Mills, but signing veterans Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Finley to contracts this offseason.
When the Texans signed Tyrod Taylor to a contract, that was one of the best moves made the Texans this offseason. Taylor was the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1 last season, but after a medical issue, he was dethroned by Justin Herbert, allowing for Taylor to have a fresh start in Houston.
Finley is a former backup quarterback (and 2019 fourth-round pick) for the Cincinnati Bengals, and though he played some that franchise, the Bengals went to Joe Burrow as their franchise quarterback as he returns from injury.
Taylor has had some success in starts with the Buffalo Bills, where in three consecutive seasons he had touchdown pass totals of 20, 17, and 14 from 2015-17. In those three seasons, he also never threw double-digit interceptions, either. In fact, in 72 career games being active (47 starts), Taylor has thrown 54 touchdowns to 20 interceptions.
Granted, Taylor isn’t at the same level as Deshaun Watson is when it comes to playing quarterback, but Taylor wants to be with the Texans, and if healthy, he’ll be ready to play for the Texans in ’21, and the same can’t be said for Watson.
The questions surrounding Mills are: Is he the future of the Houston Texans franchise? And how long will it take for him to be ready to make a start for the Texans at quarterback?
Eventually, if Mills shows he’s capable of leading a team, he’ll play at some point during the ’21 season. If not, Taylor and Finley will probably be running the show. Nothing is for certain, but once again, the feeling from afar is Watson won’t be the quarterback for the Houston Texans in ’21, and most likely he won’t be under center for the Houston franchise due to his own decisions before his legal issues.
The feeling seems to be the Houston Texans are moving forward and looking ahead with their franchise, which will end the chapter of Watson as their franchise quarterback, which isn’t the ending anyone ever wanted for Watson and the Texans.