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Houston Texans’ rationale for not pulling off a J.J. Watt trade makes no sense

Buffalo Bills rumors: J.J. Watt
Dec 20, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) during warmups before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It was a foregone conclusion toward the end of their disastrous 2020 season that the Houston Texans would look to pull off a J.J. Watt trade. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has regressed in recent seasons. Houston itself is headed for a full-scale rebuild, especially if the team is forced to trade Deshaun Watson.

That’s why it was a surprise last week when Houston outright released the future first ballot Hall of Famer rather than pull off a trade and acquire needed draft assets.

Embattled owner Cal McNair attempted to explain away the Texans’ decision. To say that it is the latest example of this organization falling flat on its face would be an understatement.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Texans, check out #WeAreTexans rumors, rankings and news here.

Houston Texans owner attempts to explain not pulling off a J.J. Watt trade

NFL defense rankings: J.J. Watt
Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detailed view of the jersey of Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) against the Kansas City Chiefs in a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“There are several reasons (for not trading J.J. Watt. But suffice it to say, we evaluated those, and we’re confident that this is the right one for J.J. and for us,” McNair said, via MMQB’s Albert Breer. “And it’s one we mutually came to and agreed on. And we felt that it was really the right one for J.J. Not every decision is easy or easy to understand. But we always want to do right by our players and our fans. And we want to focus on bringing a championship to Houston.”

On one hand, giving Watt the pick of his litter when it comes to a new NFL city did paint the Texans in a good light after the drama we’ve seen from the organization and former players.

On the other hand (and this is is the point of the article), Houston could have still traded Watt to a team of his choosing while recouping draft pick assets.

It was following the 2012 NFL season that the San Francisco 49ers gave Alex Smith an ability to list a few teams he would like to be traded to after Colin Kaepernick won the starting job. In the end, Smith was dealt to his preferred destination in the Chiefs for two second-round picks.

Doing right by a franchise player and attempting to build up a weak roster is not mutually exclusive. McNair and The Texans failed big time in this regard.

Read More: J.J. Watt reportedly generating interest from ‘a dozen’ NFL teams

There was interest in a J.J. Watt trade

The Texans should have traded J.J. Watt
Nov 22, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) walks off the field after the game against the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A number of teams were interested in a J.J. Watt trade. Heck, McNair went on record recently indicating that Houston had taken some calls.

For good reason. Despite some injury issues, the future Hall of Famer is just two years removed from recording 25 quarterback hits, 18 tackles for loss, 16 sacks and a resounding seven forced fumbles. He’d have been of interest to several contending teams.

Read More: Green Bay Packers reportedly interested in J.J. Watt

Instead, a Houston Texans team that is reeling after Deshaun Watson’s trade request and doesn’t boast a pick in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft opted to give Watt up for nothing. In the process, he could even sign with a division rival.

This is yet another example of the Texans’ organization failing its fan base on a near never-ending loop. It’s pretty gross.