Is there something in the water in Houston? Just a few weeks after NBA superstar James Harden engineered his trade away from the Rockets to the Nets, Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson has submitted a trade request.
In truth, this isn’t a surprise. Watson has been angry ever since he was omitted from the selection process for the new Texans GM Nick Caseiro by owner Cal McNair.
That after being promised he would have had a role in the selection process.
Appointment Of New Houston Texans Head Coach
The final straw came yesterday when McNair announced that Baltimore Ravens assistant David Culley, 65, would become the new head coach of the Houston Texans.
Not only does it appear that Watson was omitted again from the selection process for Bill O’Brien’s permanent replacement, the Texans have seemingly gone against Watson’s wishes for Kansas City Offensive Co-ordinator Eric Bieniemy to be appointed to the position.
A short time later, stories began to surface that in addition to being unhappy in Houston, Watson had now dug his heels in and formally requested a trade.
Interest Likely In Watson From Across The NFL
Given that Watson has proven to be one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL over the last few years, even in a Houston team that has struggled at times, there will be no shortage of teams interested in the quarterback.
The New York Jets have been mentioned as one potential landing spot for Watson. With Robert Saleh appointed the new head coach, it looks likely the Sam Darnold era in the Big Apple is over.
Signing Watson would be a big statement from the new head coach, especially with some solid protection for the quarterback on the O-line already in place.
The Jets may opt to use the draft to bring in a franchise quarterback as they own the second pick, should any deal for Watson with the Texans prove too costly.
Watson is believed to also favour a move to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are stacked with draft picks this year and already have two strong options at quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
A trade deal involving Tagovailoa is being proposed by a number of people.
In truth, any team in the NFL without Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson or Tom Brady as quarterback could be a potential landing spot.
With Philip Rivers retiring, a move within the AFC to the Indianapolis Colts would make sense. You could say the same for New Orleans Saints should Drew Brees decide it is time to retire.
Other teams reportedly set to be very interested include the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles.
As an elite quarterback in the NFL, Watson would likely become the starter at any team bar the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Ravens. However, the void he will potentially leave behind in Houston is going to make the job of the incoming head coach even more difficult.
Least Appealing Job In Football To Take On?
For the incoming head coach, the job in Houston looks like being an incredibly difficult one. In fact many believe it to be the most difficult of all the head coaching positions that were available in the NFL.
Culley doesn’t lack experience. At 65, he is the oldest first-time head coach in NFL history. But he is going to inherit an incredibly difficult situation at the Texans with no realistic prospect of challenging in the AFC South next season.
With Watson agitating for a trade, the Texans in a bind with the new salary cap (projected to be $21 million in the red – although Watson departing could help with this), no draft picks in the first two rounds this year and a team that was criticised for a lack of effort last season by defensive end J.J. Watt, Culley has his work cut out.
Of course, having signed a new contract last year, the Texans could elect to keep him. But would having a want-away quarterback at the helm improve the Texans any?
Especially given we know that the dressing room is already fractured thanks to J.J.Watt’s pointed and critical comments of some of his team mates efforts at the end of the regular season.
Make no mistake, Culley faces a huge rebuilding job in Houston, but he doesn’t have any salary cap space, nor the picks in the draft this year to achieve that in the short term.
Watson’s likely departure will only make that task even more difficult.