Should Deshaun Watson go public with his displeasure?

USA Today Sports

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has made it clear, privately, that he wants to be traded. With the Texans not yet showing an inclination to give him what he wants, the question becomes whether Watson should make his position public.

Last year, one high-profile player sparked a trade with a well-time tweet. During Super Bowl week, we asked that player — Bills receiver Stefon Diggs — for the advice he’d given to Watson in order to get the trade he wants.

Diggs said that Watson doesn’t need to do anything beyond what he’s already done.

“I mean, the quarterback position is one of the positions that’s under a huge microscope,” Diggs said. “It’s not like being a receiver or being a tight end. Being a skill-position is one thing but being a quarterback, everybody knows when you’re not happy. Everybody knows when things aren’t right. There’s no rectifying that, of course. I don’t think he ever has to say anything. You’re not supposed to really say anything.

“Up to that tweet I never said anything. I never said, ‘I want out of Minnesota.’ You can only strongly suggest or create your own opinions about it. I kind of saw like things that happened in the media. People sharing their tidbits about how they feel this should happen or how he should handle it. In the world we live in now, anybody who’s played professional at any sport, you put a lot of time and effort and consideration into your job or to what you do. You want that to be appreciated. I don’t know the whole situation with Deshaun Watson but, obviously, he feels that way for a reason. It didn’t just come out of nowhere. Obviously, trading DeAndre Hopkins and that kind of stuff can kind of play a role in a quarterback’s success.

“I would say do whatever you gotta do to handle your business and what you want for yourself. For me, I was one of the people that it worked out for because in my opinion, they didn’t think I was gonna go to Buffalo and it was gonna go well. They didn’t think it was gonna happen that way. They thought Josh Allen was probably inaccurate. They probably thought Josh Allen and me wasn’t gonna mesh well for whatever reason. They thought I was a diva. I was one of the few stories going into a new chapter or a new path and it worked out.”

Diggs raises an intriguing perspective that could influence the Texans. Will they be more inclined to trade Watson to a team that will be less likely to thrive with Watson on the roster? Although Watson has a no-trade clause, there’s surely a group of teams for which he’d play. If/when the Texans know those teams, the Texans could be influenced, consciously or not, to steer Watson toward a team that will be the least likely to become a Super Bowl contender with Watson.

The Texans have another obvious reason for doing that. To the extent that the trade includes draft picks from 2022 and/or 2023, the worse Watson’s new team performs, the higher the selections. In turn, the better the team, the lesser the picks — and the worse the Texans will look for letting the relationship with Watson implode.

Of course, the relationship already has imploded. The Texans have every right to hold out hope that it will un-implode. In so doing, however, they may blow their opportunity to get the best possible return for Watson as potentially interested teams address their quarterback needs elsewhere.

38 responses to “Should Deshaun Watson go public with his displeasure?

  1. Hasn’t he already? Don’t you think his agent isn’t behind stories like this one?

  2. Wow, Diggs really wanted to get out of Minnesota, badly.
    He really must have hated it there, that’s obvious.
    Really glad it worked out for him in the long run.

  3. Isn’t Watson’s displeasure already known by anyone and everyone associated with the NFL?

  4. I get a kick out of these guys, 30 million or so a year and whining like a little you know what. Tomorrow morning I have to go to a job I hate with obnoxious people for the sweat off a dogs rear end for pay-and you think I’m going to bother about whether or not some guy playing a game for 30 million a year is unhappy. Get a real job and live in my world for one week and the Houston Texans will look like heaven complete with manna!

  5. Diggs is giving good advice. I’d say the same thing. We’ve heard from guys like Andre Johnson that things inside that building weren’t right. Johnson never says anything bad about anybody. This is not a football issue. It’s the owner and the people inside. It’s very, very strange, and Watson just wants to play football. J.J. Watt has left. I mean, it’s obvious, but I’d let my agent do the talking privately. I’d let them know that Deshaun will not get on the field. He’s young and he can wait it out. All he has to do, if they don’t budge, is come up with a headache every Sunday, and force them to go with the backup QB. Deshaun can play hardball too. It won’t cost him a penny, and the other NFL teams are well aware of the craziness inside that building, and they won’t hold it against Watson. There’s no way he can damage his reputation from anything that goes on in Houston. The media should be writing more about what’s going on inside the building, and let people judge for themselves. Watson should just stay quiet. He’s a QB. This is why you pay agents.

  6. Watson doesn’t have to go public at all. But what he needs to do is tell the Texans unequivocally that he won’t play another down for them. There can be no doubt. Right now the Texans believe they can win him back. As long as they are under that impression, Watson isn’t going anywhere.

  7. The Texans have no obligation to give him away just because he doesn’t want to be there anymore… the have every right to wait until the right offer comes along (assuming it’s does)

  8. He doesn’t need to go public when he has people to do that for him, that’s how you know he isn’t happy.

  9. If Watson does not want to play for the Texans, then maybe he can choose to live in the real world for the first time in years, something professional athletes rarely do, and hope that the government sends him one of those $1400 stimulus checks to help him scratch by.

  10. They should trade him to the Jets ..he won 4 games last year so the expectation is with worse talent ..damaging their salary cap and taking a ton of draft choices the draft picks should be very valuable ..that’s why trading away picks and paying big money usually doesn’t work ..Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack come to mind ..Dee Ford ..Jamal Adams ..

  11. Watson has really hurt his credibility. If he truly wants out he should have asked for a meeting with ownership, and sat down like a man, and said look I’m no longer interested in being here, so trade me to another team, or I’ll air out my displeasure all season long it’s your choice. Instead he continues to let others do the talking for him, and I wouldn’t want him. Why bother? What happens if we go on a kissing streak is he gonna ask out?

  12. Watson had full knowledge of all the disastrous moves BOB made prior to his voluntarily signing his contract.
    He got paid then turned around and after 1 year says he wants out?

    No organization can stand for that, if they give in, they look weak and everyone will walk all over them. There will be an unending series of complaints from players after 1-2 years that they want more money or want out.

    BOB performed horribly, a reasonable person could ask why wasn’t he fired prior to the 2020 season? What is Watsons beef, that he wasn’t consulted about the GM or HC?
    Who doe she think he is? Do other players on other teams get consulted?

    No way the Texans should trade him. Watson will not sit out, unless he wants to pay CBA mandated fines plus pay back signing bonus money. Sitting out will actually cost him millions, beyond the lost revenue.

    The only recourse he has is to deliberately play bad and throw games. Thast the only thing a player under contract can do, and the NFL will need to keep an eye out for that.
    Players are welcome to sit out and forgo revenue and pay fines and sulk.
    They may not throw games.

  13. If he didn’t want to play for the Texans, he probably shouldn’t have signed that $156 million contract with them 169 days ago.

  14. We have an article every other day. I believe it is public. The bad part is he isn’t man enough to say anything out his own mouth. All these articles are agent speak. All those awesome stats got his TEAM 4 wins. Whomever gives up picks for this dude is silly and should have their franchise pulled. Stafford stats.

  15. At some point he needs to explain what changed between him signing that contract and wanted out of Houston.
    If it’s simply because he was misled about being involved in the GM & coaching search, that seems a bridge too far to believe.
    I mean, was it in his contract that he get to hire the next coach? Maybe management lied to him about that, but did they breach his contract in any way?

  16. If any team gives more than 1 first rounder for Watson then they’re dumb than dumber, because Watson won’ttake any team anywhere. Maybe Diggs and Watson should play together because they both have brains of a 5 year old who cry like babies when things don’t go their way. 😄😄

  17. If the Texans were smart they would avoid a deal with the Panthers and Miami. Both are decent teams that could possibly end up in the playoffs with a few more player additions. With this line of thinking the best available place to send Watson is the Jets. The Jets have always had issues, .500 seasons are equivalent to superbowl wins for them, but the core problem has never been the players or coach, it’s always been the GM up the food chain to Woody. They have never and will never address this problem head on and clean out the front office. This is where the incompetence lies and has for decades. Bell thought holding out a year and then going to the Jets would get him success, wins, and cash, but he found out very quickly how much of a cluster*bleep* the Jets are. He didn’t realize how good it was in Pittsburgh behind that line, he got lucky and got out of there asap. Send Watson to the Jets, then he can see what real incompetence looks like. He’ll see that the Texans may not be the best place to be right now, but the grass isn’t any greener on the other side of the fence in New York. Please send him to the Jets, pretty, pretty please.

  18. Watson had a great reputation prior to this event. But the way he he is handling this is a disaster.
    He signed the 156 million dollar contract after three seasons with the Texans and six months after the Texans traded Hopkins for a pack of cigarettes. As part of the contract he pocketed a 27 million dollar bonus which was supposed to be amortized over 5 years. The unamortized portion is 21.6 million and will hit the Texans cap when he is traded.
    If there is something that happened that cause Watson to default the contract he should tell first the Texans first and then everyone if he can’t work it out. And he should offer to reimburse the Texans a portion of the bonus if he does not want to live up to his part of the contract.
    What he is doing instead is sending cryptic tweets and letting his friends throw the Texans under the bus. This is not what a team leader that just got paid should do.
    As of now I don’t want him on the Dolphins even though he is very good. There is no guarantee that he won’t do this again next season after Miami has given a bunch of draft picks and Tua to get him.

  19. So Andre Johnson knew there was problems in Houston. JJ Watt knew there was problems in Houston. These players were drafted before you Deshaun. If this was common knowledge, why sign the contract Deshaun?

  20. The Texans don’t have much of a choice in this matter. No matter how bad they what to keep him. If he has made up his mind he could sit out the season. Others have. But if the the Texans decide to move him don’t be surprised if it won’t be until it’s just before the deadline and to a NFC team.
    They don’t want to face him every year and if they can they would put him on the worst team out there.

  21. The Vikings drafted Diggs in the 5th round, gave him a chance to prove himself, gave him a market level 2nd contract, and the chance to be in the playoffs. By his own admission, and not the fake stories slung out there by cheesers, he wanted out because the Vikings offensive system and run game didn’t get him the ball enough. He wanted more touches. Now fast forward to the quotes from Gronk and all the other Super Bowl winning TB WRs, stressing that their touches were of secondary importance to team success. Praise Diggs all you want, he’s great, but that me first stuff doesn’t fly in the long run. I hope I’m wrong, but let’s wait and see how he reacts when everything isn’t ducklings and bunnies.

  22. It doesn’t hurt the Texans to let him sit and pout. They know next year is lost regardless of whether Watson sits or purposefully plays like garbage. They know they are in rebuild and they’ll get a higher draft pick next year, when they finally get a 1st round pick again. The Texans sticking to their guns on this is also appealing to a lot of the NFL fan base who are fed up with diva QBs and their ridiculous compensation. And I think that notion appeals to Easterby, too.

  23. The way I see it the Texans have all the leverage. If they trade Watson the Texans will switch to rebuild mode where it is in their best interest to tank and get better draft picks. If Watson doesn’t want to play for them, force him to sit out, loose his signing bonus and $30+ million, then trade him the following year for about the same draft compensation. His value will not go down after sitting out a year.

  24. After signing that deal when he did, it’s very hard to see his point of view, much less support it.

  25. OK to all those that claim Watson can claim he won’t play for the Texans, if he does that then the Texans can tell him he’s not even dressing for the games and they won’t have to pay him. Also if Watson claims an injury like others say and he does it more than a time or two the Texans can tell him not to dress for the game and again they won’t have to pay him, there’s this little thing called “actions detrimental to the team” that they can use to scratch him from dressing for a game or just call it a coaches scratch and they won’t have to pay him either, so no Watson doesn’t hold all of the cards, the Texans have quite a few trump cards they can play to retaliate!

    BTW those are called “game checks” for a reason, you don’t dress for a game and you don’t get paid!

  26. Sit out and give your money back. Nothing to see here, move along and get a real job like the rest of us.

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