Deshaun Watson's time in Houston may indeed be coming to a close.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter: "There is a growing sense from people in and around the Texans' organization that Deshaun Watson has played his last snap for the team. It's early in the offseason, there's a lot of time left, but Watson's feelings cannot and should not be underestimated."
Houston's problems appear to be deep-seated. That followed a previous report from Schefter on Sunday that the team's coaching vacancy was not considered an ideal job by potential candidates.
"It's gone from the least desirable head coaching job [opening] to the most undesirable head coaching job in the NFL," a source told Schefter. "That's a fact. That's how that job is now looked at by everybody."
As for that coaching search, Houston reportedly hasn't considered much of Watson's feedback.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, Watson recommended Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. Houston hasn't interviewed either option:
"The Texans during the first week after the regular season ended made a request to interview neither. The Texans eventually requested permission to interview Bieniemy during this past week. However, because the interview didn't happen during the Kansas City bye week, the Texans must now wait until the Chiefs' season ends before talking to Bieniemy. The Texans did not request permission to interview Saleh at any time. Saleh, who was interviewed by every team with a vacancy except the Texans, recently became the new head coach of the Jets."
If Watson does indeed become available via trade, quite a few teams would have interest, with organizations like the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins being particularly fascinating situations given their current and future draft capital:
Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks
If Watson became available via trade, the Jets should call. You could trade 2nd pick this year (they still have 23rd pick), 1st in 2022 (They have 2) & 1st in 2023. That’s 3 first round picks. They could pickup extra pick/picks if they traded Sam. (My gift to sports radio)
Houston will obviously try to salvage this relationship. Franchise quarterbacks are few and far between, and Watson has emerged as one of the league's best players. Even after a poor season for the Texans in a year they made the head-scratching decision to trade superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Watson still threw for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 16 games, completing 70.2 percent of his passes.
Watson is a top-five quarterback. That Houston has allowed its relationship with him to sour to this point is a pretty stunning indictment of ownership and the front office, and perhaps a reason why the coaching vacancy is being described as undesirable.