The situation between Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson and his organization could very well be headed for more drama leading up to the regular season.
With less than two weeks before they open up against the division-rival Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans are facing a Tuesday deadline to cut their roster to 53. The backdrop here is Watson’s trade request and the allegations he’s facing from north of 20 women of sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct.
According to a report from NFL insider Aaron Wilson, Houston is expected to have Deshaun Watson on its 53-man roster. The one caveat here is that he’s going to be inactive every week.
“Texans are prepared to have Deshaun Watson on the 53-man roster and inactive every week, according to multiple league sources. Watson, who has issued a standing trade request with no deal imminent, would be paid his $10.54 million salary,” Wilson reported.
As you likely remember, Watson was inactive for each of Houston’s three preseason game after he opted to report for training camp. With the legal situation still outstanding, it’s now highly likely he’ll remain a member of the Texans throughout the 2021 NFL season.
With that said, Texans head coach David Culley also provides somewhat of an interesting updating in talking to reporters on Monday.
“We’re day to day with that,” Culley said about Watson’s status on the Texans’ 53-man roster.
Deshaun Watson trade rumors picking up steam
Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports continues to report that the Miami Dolphins are the favorites to land Watson in a trade. The NFL insider backed up that report on Monday, indicating that four other teams in that of the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers have varying levels of interest in the reigning NFL passing yards champion.
However, there’s multiple layers to a potential trade. Houston’s asking price of three first-round picks as well as two second-round selection or multiple starter-caliber players remains unchanged. Meanwhile, the Houston Police Department continues its criminal investigation into the allegations with the FBI apparently getting involved. As for the NFL, it is conducting its own investigation under the guise of the personal conduct policy.
It’s hard for any team to justify giving up draft capital when Deshaun Watson could be facing both criminal charges and a long-term suspension from the NFL.
As for the Texans, they are slated to trot Tyrod Taylor out there against Jacksonville Week 1. Rookie third-round pick Davis Mills is also guaranteed a spot on the 53. Whether the decision to roster Watson impacts Jeff Driskel ahead of Tuesday’s cuts remains to be seen.