Deshaun Watson has reportedly discussed requesting a trade from the Texans, per a report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
Florio, citing “multiple different people,” said the fourth-year quarterback has discussed the possibility with his Houston teammates. Whether he’s seriously contemplating a trade or merely leveraging his position to ensure he has a say in the Texans’ new coaching hire remains to be seen.
Florio’s report was also quickly refuted by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, who said, “Under no circumstances will the Texans trade Watson.”
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It’s worth noting that Florio’s report comes a day after the Texans reportedly agreed to terms with Nick Caserio, the Patriots’ director of player personnel. That news seemingly prompted Watson to post — then delete — a cryptic tweet that read, “some things never change….”
Houston officially announced Caserio’s hiring Thursday.
Bill O’Brien, who was fired by the team in early October, was also associated with the Patriots, serving as an assistant from 2007 to 2010. He assumed the role of general manager for the 2020 season, a position in which he struggled. He infamously traded away top target DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for running back David Johnson and gave two first-round picks to Miami for left tackle Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins will have the third overall pick of the draft in April, while the Texans will have to wait until Round 4 to make their first selection — barring another trade.
Still, it seems unlikely that Watson will actually leave Houston. He signed a four-year, $156 million extension in September; a trade would reportedly result in a cap hit of $21.6 million for the Texans. Moreover, Watson had one of his best seasons to date in 2020, particularly after O’Brien was fired: He completed career-highs in yards (4,823), completion percentage (70.2), passing touchdowns (33), adjusted yards per attempt (9.5) and had a career-low seven interceptions.
His individual success didn’t translate to the team in 2020, however; the Texans went 4-12, matching the team’s record in Watson’s rookie season, after 11- and 10-win seasons in 2018 and ’19, respectively.
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