When Houston Texans head coach David Culley said Deshaun Watson is the team’s starting quarterback for now, everyone in the NFL took notice. Opposing general managers got their hopes up for a blockbuster trade and speculation intensified that a blockbuster deal would happen this offseason.
Unfortunately for the NFL world, this seems to be the case of an inexperienced head coach learning the ropes of the position. Culley, who has primarily been a positional coach or assistant head coach in his career, learned a valuable lesson about the importance of language amid swirling trade rumors.
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Based on the latest buzz surrounding the Texans’ stance on Deshaun Watson, we won’t be seeing a deal anytime soon.
NFL rumors: Houston Texans still refusing to trade Deshaun Watson
According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, the Texans haven’t discussed a Watson trade internally, let alone with other clubs who are calling trying to convince them on a blockbuster trade.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given this is the stance ownership and the front office have stood by for over a month. When Watson demanded a trade, citing a lack of trust in the organization amid alarming issues, Houston made it clear there were no plans to even entertain the thought of a deal.
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When general manager Nick Caserio met with reports for the first time, he made it clear the team had zero interest in discussing a trade. When other teams would call to gauge the asking price, the Texans, Houston refused to engage in dialogue. If another general manager wanted to make an offer, the call was sent straight to voice mail.
Watson is sticking to his guns just as much as the organization. He made it known in January that he will never play for the Texans again. Even as the reality of it becomes more real, a decision that would cost him $20-plus million, Watson seems prepared to sit out the 2021 NFL season.
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The Texans believe they can salvage this relationship. They hired Culley, a players’ coach, with the hope he could convince Watson to stay. Instead, following a meeting, the franchise’s star told the coach directly that he still wants out and never intends to suit up for the Texans.
Recent moves have only made things worse. Watson has become increasingly frustrated with the organization and even the locker room is souring on ownership and the front office.
NFL rumors: Deshaun Watson trade could reportedly happen ‘quietly and suddenly’
Ultimately, this saga is going to play out beyond the 2021 NFL Draft. Houston will challenge Watson to skip training camp, incurring a $50,000 fine for every practice he misses. If he skips the preseason and regular season, the team can withhold his weekly salary ($620,000).
One side will eventually cave and that will likely be the Texans. With fans not showing up to watch the worst team in the NFL and a disgruntled NFL star hanging a cloud over a desperately-needed rebuild, a trade is inevitable. We just might not see a blockbuster deal until midway through the 2021 season or early next offseason.