The Deshaun Watson situation with his Houston Texans has now apparently been taken to a whole new level. One day after the legal free-agent tampering period opened up around the NFL, first-year Texans general manager Nick Caserio continues to make moves.
That includes Houston bringing in former Pro Bowl quarterback Tyrod Taylor. According to various reports, the Texans have signed Taylor to a one-year, $12.5 million contract with a base value of under $6 million.
Taylor, 31, saw limited action in two seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. The former Virginia Tech star threw six passes as Philip Rivers backup in 2019.
He was slated to start over then-rookie Justin Herbert this past season before an unfortunate mishap pertaining to Los Angeles’ medical staff forced Taylor to the bench. Herbert took over and never looked back en route to winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
With that said, Taylor was darn good during a three-year stint with the Buffalo Bills earlier in his career. From 2015-17, the former late-round pick compiled 65 total touchdowns against a mere 16 interceptions. There’s an argument to be made that he’s not heading to to Houston simply to be a clipboard holder. That will obviously lead to some pretty big speculation.
Read More: Houston Texans rumors: Deshaun Watson trade talks likely to heat up around 2021 NFL Draft
Are the Houston Texans preparing for a contingency plan for Deshaun Watson?
By now, it’s well known that the reigning NFL passing champion has requested a trade from the Texans. He’s unhappy with the direction of the organization and the powers that be in Houston. It’s to the point that Watson has threatened to sit out the entire 2021 season.
For their part, the Texans have refused to even discuss trades with interested teams. First-year general manager Nick Caserio seems to think that this relationship can be salved. That’s a pie-in-the-sky belief at this point.
By acquiring Taylor, Houston has clearly put into place a “Plan B” should the team be forced to move off Watson. New Texans head coach David Culley was the Buffalo Bills quarterback coach when Taylor manned the job in Western New York.
The two have a familiarity with one another and a built-in relationship. That can’t be lost in the entire situation with the Texans entering what promises to be a year of transition. Whether this means, Watson will be traded ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft remains to be seen. However, there’s some factors to look at here.
Read More: NFL teams reportedly believe Deshaun Watson trade will happen
Quarterback situations filling out around the NFL
Day 2 of the NFL free agent tampering period has included multiple veteran quarterbacks signing on with new teams. One of the organizations clearly in on Watson, the Chicago Bears just recently signed Andy Dalton.
He will likely compete for the starting job with Nick Foles during training camp, meaning that a move for Houston’s starter is highly unlikely.
That came after the Washington Football Team inked veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year contract Monday evening. He’s the odds-on favorite to earn the starting job in the nation’s capital this summer.
Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins just added veteran Jacoby Brissett on the free-agent market from the Indianapolis Colts. He’s now slated to replace Fitzpatrick as the top backup for Tua Tagovailoa. While Miami could still swap Tua and multiple draft picks for Watson, there’s an open question whether that’s even in the cards.
Two other teams are said to be in on Watson right now. That includes the San Francisco 49ers. They were apparently interested in signing Andy Dalton before he moved on to Chicago.
The 49ers have also been linked to New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, who could be moved if they opt for a rookie with the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Recent reports also seem to suggest an interest in Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. However, that would be more to backup Jimmy Garoppolo than anything else.
With options dwindling in terms of potential backup options to Garoppolo, it’s possible the 49ers view a Deshaun Watson trade as likelier than before. Remember, suggestions were that general manager John Lynch and Co. had already put together a package for the Pro Bowl signal caller.
Adding to the intrigue here, the Jets were initially linked to Watson. They join the 49ers in having a somewhat unsettled quarterback room. Could the Texans’ star be in the cards here?
Regardless, Tuesday’s news that Houston has signed Tyrod Taylor could change the dynamics big time moving forward in the NFL offseason.