The Houston Texans have been involved in some major drama surrounding star quarterback Deshaun Watson. This includes him requesting a trade early this past offseason and more-recent allegations from north of 20 women of sexual misconduct and/or sexual assault.
Watson is expected to remain on the Texans’ 53-man roster barring a trade. But he will be inactive on a weekly basis.
In New England, the Patriots just shocked the masses by releasing former NFL MVP Cam Newton. With Tyrod Taylor slated to start for the Houston Texans Week 1 and new general manager Nick Caserio having a built-in relationship with Newton, attention during Wednesday’s press conference turned to Cam.
Interestingly enough, the former Patriots front office figure did not close the door on Houston potentially adding Newton to the mix.
“We’re always going to look at what’s out there. If there’s a player that makes sense for our team, we’ll consider it,” Caserio said.
That’s anything but a firm denial from the front office figure.
The interesting dynamic here is that Houston kept only three quarterbacks on its initial 53-man roster. Rookie third-round pick Davis Mills will back up Taylor with the aforementioned Watson being inactive on game days. Obviously, acquiring someone with experience could make sense.
Cam Newton vaccination status and the Houston Texans
There’s another layer to this. On the field, it would make perfect sense for Houston to kick the tires on Newton. Caserio was a member of the Patriots’ front office when they signed Newton ahead of the 2020 season. He obviously played a role in that decision-making process.
However, there’s a ton of other elements to all of this. That starts with Newton’s status as an unvaccinated free agent. Prior to being released by New England, he broke NFL COVID-19 protocols. It led to frustration on the part of the Patriots’ brass. Whether that played a role in New England moving off the presumed starter in favor of rookie first-round pick Mac Jones remains to be seen.
It will likely play a role in the decision-making process of teams who might otherwise have interest in Newton. Remember, NFL COVID-19 protocols are harder on the unvaccinated than those who have received the shots.
That includes having to be tested no later than four hours ahead of kick off on game day. Should said player test positive, he’d miss the game. Those who are deemed to be in close contact with the individual and are not vaccinated would also be held out of the game.
The backdrop here being the NFL forcing teams into forfeits should a game be postponed due to a breakout among unvaccinated players. Would teams risk bringing a player like Cam Newton into the mix and risk the quarterback room? It remains to be seen.
The Houston Texans and Deshaun Watson
In the same press conference, Caserio was asked about Watson’s status on the 53-man roster heading into the Texans’ Week 1 outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He seemed non-committal.
“Each day, we’re going to make a decision we feel is best. Deshaun has been here every day. He’s been in meetings. He’s been here every day. We’re going to take it one day at a time. There’s no definitive answer at this point,” the general manager said.
Houston’s options are seemingly limited here with Watson’s legal situation yet to play out off the field. The Houston Police Department has an open criminal investigation into the matter. The FBI has apparently gotten involved. Meanwhile, the NFL could very well opt to suspend Watson under the guise of the personal conduct policy. With all of that in mind, here are the Houston Texans’ options.
- Houston could continue with its current plan to keep Watson on the 53-man roster while having him inactive on a weekly basis.
- The team could very well look to trade Watson on the cheap, simply moving on from a situation that has defined the organization for far too long.
- Houston has an ability to trade Watson for full value while providing other teams with draft pick assurances should the star quarterback be charged criminally or face a long suspension from the NFL.
Right now, everything seems to be in a holding pattern for the Houston Texans. That could change on a dime should they opt to sign Cam Newton. At the very least, he’s a better backup option right now than Davis Mills.