Curiously, the departure of J.J. Watt from the Texans didn’t include a press conference. Watt presumably didn’t want one.
Instead, owner Cal McNair called several members of the media and, by all appearances, read from talking points or note cards regarding the decision to release Watt — and the decision (for now) to keep Deshaun Watson.
The reporters, as best we can tell, who received a Cal call include Peter King of NBC Sports, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Ian Rapoport of the NFL, Albert Breer of SI.com, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, and Aaron Reiss of TheAthletic.com.
McNair’s message to most if not all of the reporters included that “there’s been a lot of misinformation” regarding Watson, and that McNair expects Watson to be a member of the Texans.
So what’s the misinformation? All we know for now is that Watson has asked to be traded, that Watson has stiff-armed all efforts to contact him, that G.M. Nick Caserio did not draw a line in the sand when addressing the situation during the press conference introducing coach David Culley, and that the Texans have since been trying to create the impression that there is a line in the sand.
Again, what’s the misinformation? Why not say so? Why not correct the record instead of clumsily painting with a broad brush that someone has gotten the overall picture wrong?
The fact that McNair essentially had a loose script for his various phone calls reminded me of McNair’s July 2019 radio interview, which prompted a host on the Texans’ flagship station to criticize McNair for reading business cliches from a prepared text.
“Did anybody understand a word Cal McNair just said?” Matt Jareck said at the time. “I had to listen to this thing 20 times in a row to figure out what he meant. . . And, by the way, you can tell he’s reading this thing off a note card. . . . It’s classic P.R. . . . String together a statement that means nothing.”
It sounds like there was even more P.R. on display three days ago, as McNair tried to put a bow on the Watt era while toeing the party line regarding Watson.
To summarize, there’s a lot of misinformation out there, the Texans aren’t telling anyone what it is, and they expect Watson to continue to be a member of the Texans.
Here’s what I expect: The Texans will continue to display moving forward the same dysfunction that brought them to the point where their franchise quarterback wants out. If I’m wrong about that, just give me a call, Cal.