Deshaun Watson Trade Rumors: Texans Not Engaging on Calls for Star QB

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) watches a replay in the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

If the Houston Texans ignore them long enough, maybe Deshaun Watson's trade suitors will go away.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday the Texans are holding firm and "not engaging in any potential trade conversation with any team." According to Rapoport, new Houston general manager Nick Caserio has declined to entertain any conversations on the topic when it's brought up.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From Super Bowl Live: The #Saints want to bring back QB Jameis Winston, while the #Texans continue to stiff-arm teams hoping to trade for Deshaun Watson. https://t.co/CDdaDrnKBJ

The report meshes with what Caserio told reporters last week:

Rivers McCown @riversmccown

Nick Caserio pre-emptively on Watson: "Just want to reiterate our commitment to Deshaun Watson ... we look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him this spring when we get started, we have zero interest in trading the player." https://t.co/aG3NgowDNq

Trading Watson should be considered a last resort from Houston. The 25-year-old is one of the NFL's best quarterbacks, and he's under contract through the 2025 season. If the Texans were to lose Watson, there's no telling when they'd again have a player as good under center.

Plus, the regular season is months away. There's still time to repair the relationship.

However, there's often a point when defiance becomes obstinance.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the hiring of David Culley as head coach hasn't altered Watson's desire to leave. A source also told Chris Mortensen of ESPN that CEO Cal McNair firing himself might be the only way to get the three-time Pro Bowler back on board. 

Once you've lost the trust of your best player, it's almost impossible to unring the bell.

Because of Watson's contract, the Texans can't mess this up in the same way they botched the Jadeveon Clowney deal. Houston waited so long that Clowney's trade value was a fraction of what it had been earlier because the team acquiring him couldn't negotiate a long-term contract. The Texans traded him to the Seattle Seahawks within a week of the 2019 season opener.

Caserio has some incentive to seriously entertain trade offers over the next few months.

The 2021 draft provides the Texans with an opportunity to find Watson's successor, and they'd know exactly when they're on the board in the first round if the team could acquire a top-32 selection (Houston's pick was traded to Miami). The organization also doesn't want to be put into a corner late into the offseason, with little time to get a new quarterback comfortable with the offense.

It all serves as a reminder of how badly the franchise erred to find itself in this situation.