It’s the latest tangible sign that quarterback Deshaun Watson won’t be part of the Houston Texans’ future.
Via Rivers McCown, the Texans have removed Watson from the introduction to the teams’ online TV show, Texans 360.
The development comes during an offseason that has seen Watson request a trade and that, more recently, has seen Watson sued 22 times for alleged misconduct during massage therapy sessions. He also faces an NFL investigation and multiple criminal complaints.
It’s no surprise that the Texans would distance themselves from Watson, who spent the first two months of the offseason distancing himself from the team. Because the Texans didn’t trade Watson before the first of the lawsuits were filed, Watson remains on the roster.
Even though he most likely will never play for the Texans again, the possibility of Watson being placed on paid leave by the NFL could make him far more inclined to do that which he previously didn’t intend to do: show up for training camp.
If he shows up and lands on the Commissioner Exempt list, Watson continues to get his game checks. If he doesn’t, he’s subject to fines, forfeitures, and ultimately no pay. So if he’s not going to be playing anyway in 2021 (and there’s a good chance at this point that he won’t be), why not show up, not play, and get paid?
The Texans have one way to avoid that. Beyond removing him from the introduction to Texans 360, they can remove him from the roster. If they cut him, however, the Texans would get no compensation when he signs with a new team. Barring a prosecution, a conviction, a lengthy prison sentence, and/or a lifetime banishment from the NFL, Watson inevitably will.