Deshaun Watson Rumors: Texans QB 'Extremely Unhappy' He Wasn't Part of GM Hire

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson is "extremely unhappy" with how the team's general manager search played out, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Rapoport reported Watson was told by team owner Cal McNair he'd have input in the process. However, the hiring of Nick Caserio was done without his consultation, which is Watson's point of contention rather than the move itself.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Deshaun Watson has not spoken to #Texans brass in the last few days, though they have tried to call him. https://t.co/6ObYHqrdgB

ESPN's Adam Schefter provided more context:

"Additionally, the Texans did not inform Watson that they intended to hire Caserio, and he found out about the hire on social media. That contributed to Watson taking to Twitter that night to post "some things never change...." [...]

"Last offseason, Houston didn't let Watson know that star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins would be traded, which led to some disappointment. Now that it has happened again, Watson is said to be infinitely more bothered, sources told ESPN."

Schefter wrote Watson didn't expect the Texans to hire his handpicked candidate but that he "wanted to at least have the opportunity to meet with ownership's finalists so he could offer his thoughts from a player standpoint to benefit the team—and then the Texans could hire who they wanted."

Houston pursued Caserio prior to the 2019 season and only gave up when it was the subject of possible tampering charges. It's fair to wonder how thorough the search was this time around given this prior interest in Caserio.

The MMQB's Albert Breer added that Watson previously "advocated" for the Texans to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, but the team passed on a chance to do so: 

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Watson advocated for Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy—Pat Mahomes put in a strong word for EB with Watson—and the Texans didn’t even put in for an interview with Bieniemy. Easy to see where he’d feel like they were just placating him by telling him he’d be involved. https://t.co/F3cTcyJkFU

Watson's request doesn't seem too unreasonable. Not only is he the franchise quarterback, but he's also signed through the 2025 season. The 25-year-old ideally isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so it's important that he have a good working relationship with two of the organization's biggest decision-makers.

Instead, the Texans potentially have a big problem on their hands. Rapoport and Schefter's reports came after Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported Watson "has quietly broached with teammates the possibility of requesting a trade."

According to Benjamin Allbright of KOA NewsRadio, that topic hasn't gained much traction inside Houston's offices:

Benjamin Allbright @AllbrightNFL

Texans aren't trading Watson, nor has that been discussed. I asked for a hypothetical offer that might move him last night. "Three 1sts, three 2nds and a player might start the conversation"

Watson would obviously have a robust trade market, but that has to be considered a last resort because the reality of such a deal is you might land a player or draft pick that becomes as valuable as Watson.

Having said that, keeping a star player around who doesn't want to be there isn't all that beneficial, either.

If nothing else, it appears McNair has put Caserio in a difficult position right out of the gate.