The Houston Texans versus Deshaun Watson trade drama will have a little time to simmer before it becomes a full boil once the 2021 season is over. This past week there was some interest from possibly three to four teams, but either teams backed out, or the Texans stood strong in what they want in return for one of the very few “elite quarterbacks” in the NFL.
With Watson last season, the Texans won four games and lost 12. Without Deshaun Watson for the 2021 season – he takes up a roster spot and gets paid $10 million to work out – the Texans are currently 1-8 overall, and they lost on Sunday in Week 9 to the now two-win Miami Dolphins, who are also one of the teams interested in Watson.
If not for all of the off-the-field legal issues that the former Texans starting quarterback currently is a part of, there is no doubt here he would already be playing for another team this year, and the Texans would have had the draft capital and players they are dreaming of in any trade scenario.
That isn’t the case right now, and who can blame Texans general manager Nick Caserio for not trading Deshaun Watson for a bargain bin price? It is tough to say how much value Watson brings to a franchise because he’s never taken the Texans out of the Divisional Round of the playoffs, but on the other hand he was the NFL passing leader in ’20, he’s one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the NFL, and he’s proven many times he can take sacks – many, many sacks – and continue to play.
In a recent article NFL.com article by NFL Reporter Tom Pelissero, he wrote the following about how the Texans turned down multiple offers of teams offering three first-round draft picks:
"“Sources say the Texans have continued to seek five or six assets, including at least three unconditional first-round picks, plus additional high picks and/or premium players. And multiple teams were willing to meet that price, provided that certain aspects of Watson’s legal situation were resolved.”"
Again, the Texans can’t trade Deshaun Watson for next to nothing, and also remember Watson has only agreed to drop his no-trade clause to the Dolphins. And even though the Dolphins defeated the Texans 17-9 in Week 9 with backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett as their starter, Watson staying on the team isn’t even a distraction anymore.
The issue with the Texans is they are a very bad football team and now are holders of the second-worst record in the NFL, with the Detroit Lions as the only team who has fewer wins than the Texans. Yes, that now includes the Jacksonville Jaguars having more wins than Houston after Week 9.
What’s next for the Texans and Deshaun Watson?
For now, Deshaun Watson will probably keep doing whatever it is he does now as his legal issues continue to be a focus, and as the Texans continue to keep losing football games. Except for next week, the Texans won’t lose as they finally have their long-awaited bye week, so everyone can have a break from this team failing to have a coherent offense.
As the first half of the Texans season has been completed with eight consecutive losses, part of that reason is not having Deshaun Watson as the starting quarterback.
It has become very noticeable Deshaun Watson was an important part of this offense, but it is also clear now the Texans aren’t going to win many more, if any, games and that would probably be the case even if Watson woke up, had a change of heart and wanted to play following the bye week.
That’s not going to happen, and to be honest if he did, it still wouldn’t make a difference because the Texans need to start focusing on next season, and that includes the 2022 NFL Draft and how they can trade Watson to the fullest potential that will benefit Houston.
Eventually the ’22 NFL Draft will be here, and that event will mark the time for some long-awaited hope for this franchise. By then Deshaun Watson could bring in more much-needed draft capital, and it will be up to Caserio and the rest of the decision makers to make the right choices on players.
So much is going to happen from this Week 10 bye until the NFL Draft next year that the team will be unrecognizable, but that can be a positive because that is how rebuilds work. The rebuild will be stronger once the Texans’ patience pays off and they receive the return they want for Deshaun Watson in an offseason trade.