The clock keeps ticking for the Texans and Deshaun Watson

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The coaching carousel officially has stopped. The quarterback carousel hasn’t officially started.

At least not publicly. Behind the scenes, the wheels surely are in motion. Teams are talking to other teams about possible deals that can be done. Agents are having hypothetical conversations with those who may want to acquire a veteran player. Eventually (and possibly starting with the decision made by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers), things will start moving.

At some point, the Texans and quarterback Deshaun Watson will part ways. The stakes are too high this year. Watson has a fully-guaranteed salary of $35 million. The Texans surely won’t want to pay that amount to someone who isn’t playing, after paying him $10 million to not play in 2021.

But who will trade for Watson while he still is facing legal jeopardy on two fronts? The criminal complaints have yet to be resolved by a grand jury; a decision was expected by the end of January. The 22 civil cases are still pending.

The Dolphins would have traded for Watson in 2021 if the 22 lawsuits had been settled. Ultimately only 18 could have been resolved. The Panthers would have traded for Watson with the criminal and civil matters pending. Watson, however, didn’t want to play for the Panthers.

Currently, there are many factors at play. Which teams would Watson play for? Of those teams, which ones want him? Are they willing to do a deal without full resolution of his legal situation? Can they also work out an acceptable agreement with the Texans? What happens with Watson’s contract?

To get this done, something has to give. Ultimately, it may be Houston. Between the no-trade clause, the $35 million salary, the still-unsettled legal issues, and a full year of inactivity from Watson, Houston’s leverage isn’t getting better — it’s getting worse. And if potentially interested teams in which Watson would be interested begin making other arrangements, it becomes harder not easier for the Texans to get whatever they want.

At a certain point, the Texans may have to simply declare victory and take whatever they can get. Even if it’s a lot less than they could have gotten a year ago.

43 responses to “The clock keeps ticking for the Texans and Deshaun Watson

  1. If you need any more proof, character, or the lack of it counts. Something for GMs to conciser before the next trade or the next draft.

  2. By far the best move would be to keep him. The league clearly is willing to let it all go away. Pay the supposed victims and move on.

  3. Watson could find himself out of the NFL altogether. It would likley take only one criminal charge to stick and it would be over.

  4. Their clueless GM messed up this entire situation. He apparently had a team interested in giving him three first round picks and when he realized the he decided to ask for even more. Now he’ll be lucky to get a Kid’s Meal in return for him. Any team trading for him will be on the hook for $35M, $37M, $32M and $32M for the next four years. Is he really worth destroying your franchise to trade for him then pay that much–and he’ll undoubtedly ask for more money next year. And then there’s his legal problems. Stay tuned for that. Houston should have gotten something while they could. They could be left holding the bag.

  5. Watson’s team has already asked for an extension of his deposition until April because not only has 10 of the plaintiffs not bothered to show up or claim COVID reasons, but the criminal investigation is STILL ongoing. They will probably get this and then extend it again in April. So everyone will still have to wait until something happens.

  6. I would be shocked if he ever plays again. A guy in his position doesnt have much say in anything.

  7. 3 firsts for a QB with unresolved legal issues who last lead his team to a 4-12 record 2 years ago. lol. That’s a hard no.

  8. For years the NFL has had a salary cap floor in addition to a cap ceiling. I believe the floor has been temporarily suspended during this Covid time but even so, does it matter if the Texans are paying for someone not playing? The Texans aren’t going to win the Super Bowl in 2022 and currently they have no leverage against Watson’s no-trade clause…and while Watson allegedly wanted out because he doesn’t like Jack Easterby…if it was just that, the Texans would have easily traded Watson a year ago…but if not for something 100% of Watson’s doing (Massage-gate) the Texans are put in a horrible position with no leverage. The Texans roster with a few exceptions (Watson, Tunsil, Cooks) is filled with low cost players. As I see it, the Texans have two choices; 1) to be bullied by Watson into a bad trade position solely because he might be abusive of women or 2) create leverage by telling him he’ll sit another year if he doesn’t loosen the no-trade clause. Again, does it really matter whom the Texans are paying? The difference in no leverage vs leverage could be a host of high quality draft picks. If it’s me, I’m playing hard ball with the massage fanatic.

  9. 22 defendants…. He’s the epitome of a predator and that will never go away just because these 22 cases are resolved

  10. They have to dump him. Let the Redskins have him, they are a PR disaster anyway so Watson can try to play again AFTER his official suspension.

  11. I’m sure he’s learning the error of his ways by making tens of millions of dollars as punishment.

  12. The civil cases won’t cause Watson to go to jail but it could cause the NFL to suspend him. The real problem would be if he gets charged criminally and is either convicted or accepts a plea bargain. Why would any team offer anything to take on his contract when he could be spending years in jail? If another team offers a bag of footballs in exchange for Watson and assuming his contract they should consider it.

  13. If the Texans can’t get what they think is fair trade value then keep him and play him. Force Watson to choice between playing and making $35M or sitting out and not getting paid.

  14. It’s difficult to believe 22 women in the “Me too” era are going to accept money only to resolve the Watson case. The real story is how has he stayed out of jail for this?

  15. Let me see if I follow: (1) Watson voluntarily signs a large contract; (2) Watson decides he doesn’t like the director of he team and holds out (or holds in); (3) Watson gets accused by more than 20 women of behaving badly; (4) Watson is getting paid and the Texans are being forced to pay him to do nothing or take what they can get in trade.

    Am I missing something? Why is Watson the beneficiary of this?

  16. Their clueless GM messed up this entire situation. He apparently had a team interested in giving him three first round picks and when he realized the he decided to ask for even more.

    Can we walk back this hot take a few steps? Number one, it’s only speculation that he asked for more because the deal never got done. Number two, the more likely scenario here about why the deal didn’t get done is that a week later – all this stuff with Watson and the massage workers came to light. Now imagine the Texans sent him to another team and then all that stuff came out? They knew it was coming. They couldn’t have traded him. The owner would get himself black balled from the league keeping info like that quiet and trading him away for all those picks. Are you kidding me? Nobody would ever do business w Houston again.

  17. Other than the obvious PR hit, with the pending civil and criminal matters, combined with a likely NFL suspension, what could the Texans possibly get for this guy? It would have to be conditional picks, and even then the take should be limited.

  18. He quit his team, refusing to play for them and force a trade….
    That is the type player that teams need to avoid!

  19. Just so the record is straight – there were 23 lawsuits filed against him – only one was closed out by order of the Court- a Judgment of Non-Suit; the other 22 are still active and pending.

    IMO any team would be crazy to hitch their wagon to that horse. Although…maybe a possible landing spot in Pittsburgh? Flores wanted to coach him and he wanted to play for Flores. <> Just a thought.

  20. If the Texans just cut him, The Texans are on the hook for $32M in dead money every year through 2025 (according to spotac). A crippling blow to the franchise. This makes it imperative to trade him and ease their cap hit. If the can get a two liter of Pepsi and a case of Doritos, I would take it to get rid of that dead money.

  21. “Houston’s leverage isn’t getting better — it’s getting worse.”
    That’s not true at all. After a year in which they didnt trade him they’ve shown their willing to hold their ground am until they get a deal they like.

  22. The Texans should sue Watson to recoup any funds they end losing as a result of his behavior..

  23. 25 years old….absolutely wont sniff a day in prison over this….eventually the suits will get settled….he returns to a team who needs a great young QB, may get a light suspension from the NFL of 8 games, and we all move on. Bookmark it.

  24. Any lawyer will tell you that it will be years before all of this is resolved. All these football pundits seem to think it will happen before the draft. Teams are so desperate for a quality QB would not be surprised to see some team lets him play while all of this works itself out in the courts.

  25. I would love to see him really force the Texans hand and refuse every trade, force them to cut him and become a FA, double dip on his pay if he can and it gives him whatever revenge he wants on the team

  26. How can there not be any language in his contract that voids it for detrimental conduct? Does it all need to play out in court before that kicks in?

  27. “At a certain point, the Texans may have to simply declare victory and take whatever they can get. Even if it’s a lot less than they could have gotten a year ago.”

    Pretty sure the Texans would be declaring defeat and not victory, but what do I know

  28. Nobody was giving up 3 firsts for him. total speculation that was completely unbelievable. He’s not worth his contract let alone that much draft capital. The only place he is capable of leading a team is into a dumpster.

  29. The best thing that could happen for the Texans and the league is for a Grand Jury to indict him and his contact be voided by the league for whatever criminal causes are in it.

  30. i dont get it… why pay him tens of millions to not play?
    is not like they are better without him…

  31. So just to recap, Brady was treated like Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson because the league couldn’t be bothered to understand basic high school level physics but Watson got paid $10M while sitting out 17 games with 22 assault cases pending. Got it.

  32. You mean Flores really was undermining his QB with this trade talk. If Watson is released and picked up, and the cases suddenly disappear, then the league should suspend Watson for several years (and look into the team picking him up for possible tampering/collusion).

  33. So Kaepernick takes a knee and his career is over, which is fine by me. Then this clown gets hit with what, like 25 sexual assault charges and …..? Well, my bad. I mean he DID get paid to not play. Must have been hell on the man. I can’t wait to see what team wastes a ton of draft picks on him, only to have him end up suspended for a year or two. (assuming there is ANY kind of justice whatsoever) And the Texans get stuck with $32 million in dead cap money. Yeah, sounds fair all around. smh

    You know the saying, “The more things change …”

  34. Obviously people and “media pundits” have learned nothing.

    Watson has NO leverage and the Texans CAN’T find anyone to take him (at any price) while his legal issues are unresolved. If Watson EVER wants to play in the NFL again he has to go to the Texans and ‘Look I’ll play in 2022′. If he doesn’t he’ll be 2 years with no football experience, still having to explain his lousy record as a playoff QB and how come the Texans did just as well without him in 2021 as they did in 2020 WITH him. he needs to prove himself if he ever wants a shot again.

    That said the Texans would have to be crazy to put him on the field while the legal issues are still unresolved. It would be a PR nightmare and if he didn’t have a winning season his trade value wouldn’t be worth a leaky water bucket.

    And Pittsburgh may be willing to try and salvage Flores but they aren’t stupid enough to add Watson’s toxicity to Flores’ toxicity.

    And Rodgers is going to be taking snaps in GB next year unless he retires. And if he does he isn’t taking them for anyone else.

  35. No one is going to pay the Texans 3 first round picks for a QB that is facing 22 lawsuits and a league suspension. That fact right there drops his value a little bit. IF the Texans can’t understand that, then they will get nothing.

  36. People who are saying he won’t play again if it goes to a criminal case are clearly confused. Watson plays QB in the NFL at a high enough level to be a starting QB. Do you not remember Vick?

  37. Remember when Brett Favre was sending pics of “lil Brett” and caught a $50,000 fine? My how times have changed…

  38. rachelfootball says:

    February 21, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    If the Texans just cut him, The Texans are on the hook for $32M in dead money every year through 2025 (according to spotac). A crippling blow to the franchise. This makes it imperative to trade him and ease their cap hit. If the can get a two liter of Pepsi and a case of Doritos, I would take it to get rid of that dead money.
    Im starting to believe your a troll. Just a few days ago your advocating to cut him while not understanding the ramifications of a dead cap hit claiming it would free 32 million now your INCORRECTLY claiming something another website does NOT say…

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