First came a report by Mike Florio stating that the Panthers have been quietly interested in Deshaun Watson. Then, Chris Trapasso said that the Texans and Eagles were attempting to reach an agreement on a deal for the star QB. This was quickly disproven by several insiders, including Aaron Wilson, who said that there are no developing trades due to the complex legal situation Watson is in. Then, things were shifted to the other extreme by Michael Lombardi, who said that the Texans still have zero interest in trading him.
It seems like no one knows what’s really going on in Houston, so all we can do is take some guesses.
Watson Will Not Be A Texan
Contrary to what Michael Lombardi thinks, I still believe that there is no chance that Deshaun Watson remains a Houston Texan in the long-term. What the team thinks of him was made clear last week, when they had Watson playing scout team safety. I’ll say again, scout team safety.
There is no logical explanation for Watson, who led the league in passing yards and completed 70% of his passes last year, to not be the starting quarterback at training camp. Especially not when the only other options are a banged-up Tyrod Taylor, and Davis Mills, who throws interception after interception against the league’s worst secondary.
The only explanation that head coach David Culley could offer was that Deshaun needed to get “reacclimated” after missing OTAs. Why he said this I don’t know because that has to be the lamest excuse anyone could think of.
The only acceptable reason why Watson isn’t getting snaps would be because of his legal situation. However, if that’s the case, the team should just send him home. He’s nothing but a distraction at this point.
Now, I don’t think the Texans want to move on from their franchise QB, but I do think they have finally realized that there is no other choice. Watson still has a lot of power and leverage over the team in this situation. If he doesn’t want to play, he will not play. The team knows this, and they’re only keeping him at camp to save his trade value. But, having him on the scout team also shows that they aren’t trying to salvage the relationship.
A Long Road Ahead
I also think that a trade is still going to take a while to materialize. In fact, it wouldn’t shock me if Watson isn’t traded until after the Super Bowl. Once again, the reason for this is the impending allegations against him.
To Houston, the many draft picks they demand for Watson are fair value. The NFL has given no indication that Watson will be suspended anytime soon, and he is still a top 5 NFL quarterback who is not even in the prime of his career. It would be crazy to give him up for anything less than a king’s ransom.
However, things in the NFL can change in a second. What’s true today about Watson’s situation may not be true tomorrow. All it takes is one incriminating piece of evidence against Watson to surface, and his playing career could be over. At the end of the day, no team that trades for the QB now is getting a guaranteed long-term starter. This risk means that the Texans are asking for too much as of right now.
Overall, for all sides involved, the fairest deal will come by waiting out the legal process. So, I do think Watson will be traded, but it won’t come soon. Right now, most of these “rumors” are just insiders looking for a headline.